Simply put, Harold Bloom is Falstaff.
Or at least he was last night.
In a concert reading held at Zero Church Street to benefit the American Repertory Theater's Institute for Advanced Theater Training Scholarship Fund, Bloom read selections from Shakespeare's "Henry IV" and "Henry V" with characteristic wit and worldliness.
Seventeen actors and actresses ranging in age and experience from A.R.T. Director Robert Brustein to undergraduate James A. Carmichael '01 accompanied Bloom in the reading.
Bloom is Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University, Berg Professor of English at New York University and former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard.
Brustein introduced the evening to a packed house by explaining the mission of the Institute for Advanced Theater Training, and by expressing his delight that Bloom, "an old friend," could make this production possible.
Brustein said he has been dreaming of such a production for eight years.
Guest director Karin Coonrod adapted the text of Shakespeare's plays to fit the format of the evening. She worked closely with Bloom in choosing passages and adapting them for the performance.