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Mine Eye Hath Played the Painter: Len Cariou in Video Sonnet on Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday

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shakespeareThe marvelously inventive Sonnet Project from New York Shakespeare Exchange (NYSX) is setting all of Shakespeare’s sonnets one by one to (very) short films set in various New York City locations. Directed by and starring by an assortment of talented people, the series advances on April 16 with a big name, Broadway star and Tony winner Len Cariou (TV’s Blue Bloods,/em>), in Sonnet #76.

Following that, and premiering at a viewing party on April 22 at Amity Hall, Sonnet #63 will make its debut, starring famed actor, director and playwright Austin Pendleton.

In the end, the project will create short films of every one of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, “bringing together the classical poetry of the Bard with the urban poetry of New York City.” Each is released on the Sonnet Project website, and there’s a free Sonnet Project mobile app for iPhone and Android too.

When all the sonnets have been filmed, NYSX intends to develop a Sonnet Walking Tour of New York City neighborhoods.

How do I film thee? Let me count the ways. Yes, I know, that’s a reference to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, not Shakespeare, and it’s a sonnet “from the Portuguese,” not from the Big Apple. But as Gertrude Stein could have said, sonnet is a sonnet is a sonnet is a sonnet. And you can see that many sonnets, and many more courtesy of the Sonnet Project. A much better break-time activity than watching cat videos on YouTube, no?

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is an Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. He writes the blog Park Odyssey, for which he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City—over a thousand of them. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. By night he's a working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.