Matt Damon, Christine Baranski and Gloria Reuben will join the lineup of noted actors scheduled to appear at “What Are We Worth? Shakespeare, Money, And Morals,” a one-night free event at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on Monday, June 17 at 8 pm.
Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater, and Damian Woetzel, director of The Aspen Institute Arts Program, announced the additional performers on Monday. The institutions are partners in the theater’s Public Forum, a series of performances, lectures and conversations with opinion makers across a variety of disciplines. This is the first time the forum – now in its third year – has been at the Delacorte.
The June 17 event includes readings from a variety of Shakespeare works on money and justice. Alan Alda, Hamish Linklater, Jesse L. Martin, Lily Rabe, Vanessa Redgrave and others had previously been announced as participants. The 90-minute program also includes a town-hall conversation with the audience conducted by Michael Sandel, the Harvard professor and the author of “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets.”
"I mean, come on, bringing this movie to Cannes is kind of hard to beat!” is the first thing Steven Soderbergh says to me, knees jiggling, eyes popping. “Just in terms of the kitsch of it all. Is it, do we know, have we confirmed, are they really?” the director stammers. Finally, he gathers himself. “Is Spielberg really screening movies on the yacht? Has anybody absolutely confirmed this? ’Cause God, I hope so! Come on – this movie, on a yacht?” he hoots, delighted at the very idea.
We’re sitting in an open-fronted cabana on the rocks at Eden Roc, part of the luxe Hotel du Cap. A few cabanas away, Douglas is meeting press obligations. Damon is in the air, en route either to or from Cannes – he’s juggling German filming commitments with George Clooney on the Nazi art heist movie The Monuments Men, and is private-jetting back and forth four times over three days to support Behind The Candelabra.
This story – based on Thorson’s tell-all autobiography – is a gift to any filmmaker. But Soderbergh artfully resisted the route a lesser, more commercial filmmaker might have taken. Behind The Candelabra is no think-pink camp-fest, a winking melodrama involving the rise and eventual fall of two old queens. It’s a brilliant portrait of two lonely men in a co-dependant and mostly loving relationship. And no, it is resolutely not Soderbergh's contribution to the gay marriage debate currently raging in both America and Britain.
“I really was trying to strip away any of that sort of...” Soderbergh begins. Both he and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese “were very conscious of trying to not look at it through any sort of political lens… And halfway through the movie I really feel like you’re just watching a relationship. When the relationship starts to fall apart it’s wrenching because Michael and Matt have done such a god job of showing that Liberace and Scott were connected, if only by the fact that they were both kind of broken, I think."