Monday, December 31, 2007

The Revolution Will Be Televised

The People Speak: Next Week In Boston

Howard Zinn's THE PEOPLE SPEAK will have four performances:

Matinees, 2 pm, evenings, 7 pm on Jan. 8 & 9 at the Cutler Majestic Theater, Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston.

You can call the box office (617-824-8000) and specify which performance or performances you want tickets for.

They are free, Zinn said, as befitting something for "the people."

Here's the lineup:

Matinee, Jan. 8, CLASS

Evening Jan. 8, WOMEN

Matinee, Jan. 9, RACE

Evening, Jan. 9, WAR

We have an excellent cast of actors and singers (Viggo Mortensen, Josh Brolin, Marisa Tomei, Danny Glover, David Strathairn, Kerry Washington, John Legend and more ...

excerpt from Boston Globe, December 12, 2007

By Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan
Globe Staff

Big names, and the rest is history

At long last, Howard Zinn's influential 1980 book "A People's History of the United States" is being turned into a TV miniseries called "The People Speak," and it'll be shot here in Boston next month. The series will star several Hollywood heavies, including Matt Damon, Marisa Tomei, Viggo Mortensen, Danny Glover, Josh Brolin, and David Strathairn, as well as actresses Kerry Washington and Q'Orianka Kilcher, and singer Allison Moorer.

"I think that what's happening here is that people who do Hollywood work don't often get a chance to do something they believe in, so when they see an opportunity to do something they care about, they go all out," Zinn, who lives in Newton, told us yesterday. "Viggo, from the beginning, had said, 'I'm going to fit this in, I just don't know how.' "

The actors, who'll read selections of "A People's History" and its companion book "Voices of a People's History of the United States," will be recorded Jan. 8-9 in front of an audience at Boston's Cutler Majestic Theatre. Produced by Zinn and Chris Moore of "Project Greenlight," the four one-hour programs will focus on struggles in US history: Women, war, class, and race, and include archival footage, photos, and supplementary interviews.

Zinn said he's not surprised that the series, which has been discussed for more than a decade, is finally getting off the ground. "There's a great hunger in the public for dissident voices, and it has to do with the war, with this administration, and the inadequacy of the political system," said Zinn, a retired BU professor. "There's a great vacuum and that can be filled by voices and ideas of people who've stood outside the establishment and for equality and issues of justice."

He said each actor will read up to eight selections. Tomei, for example, will portray a Lowell mill girl on strike in the 1830s; Glover will read the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass; Brolin will be Mark Twain commenting on the Philippine-American War; and Washington will read the words of abolitionist Sojourner Truth.

And how about this? The music will be performed by Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and perhaps Bruce Springsteen, who's a big fan of Zinn's book. "I think there's a good chance Bruce will do a song," said Zinn. "This is exciting."

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