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The Met Live in HD Presents: Coriolanus 

When: Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m. and Tue., Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Feb. 11 2014
Price: $11-$16

I’m sorry to see that the domain, a site I distinctly recall visiting in my wayward youth, now leads to some random Japanese site. Bummer. It was a great site, with pictures and rankings of movie and TV characters by hotness and badness (of the fictional kind; I don’t think it featured actors who were jerks in real life).

I only bring it up because I’m sure that would give actor Tom Hiddleston high marks indeed, particularly for his appearance as the troublesome Norse god Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies. Loki would be way more interesting to hang out with than stodgy ole Thor. Plus, there’s those fantastic cheekbones and those purty eyes.

Where was I? Ahem. Hiddleston puts his classically trained talents to the role of the intriguingly troublesome Caius Marcius Coriolanus, a talented, principled military leader with contempt for the rioting lower classes. London’s National Theatre Live production of Coriolanus screens at the Roxy Theater on Feb. 25, sponsored by the MT Live.

Shakespearean scholars say Coriolanus might have been more likable to the snotty upper classes in Elizabethan England, but these more democratic times, comes off as a jerk. Coriolanus isn’t one of Shakespeare’s better known works, perhaps because its protagonist doesn’t tidily fit into hero or villain categories. Choosing a teen heartthrob for the star was a pretty smart move on the part of National Theatre Live, as Hiddleston has drawn an extra crowd to the show. Stuffy Shakespeare nerds have been confused to walk into packed showings full of excited teen girls; one reviewer wrote in the Texas paper Theater Jones that “the crowd giggled though the screening at the oddest times and persistently. They watched Hiddleston from a very different perspective than mine. If you attend a screening and find a huge crowd of young ladies (mostly) in the audience, be aware of their viewing context and vocal enthusiasm, neither having much to do with the Shakespeare play.”

I, for one, am all in favor of a hottie drawing people to a complex political play they might not have seen otherwise. I bet whoever ran would agree.

—Kate Whittle



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