He did! On this very date, in 1849, outside the Astor Place Opera House in New York City, 22 people died after two actors—one American, and one British—clashed over poor reviews, paranoia, and booing. Blame the War of 1812 or Alexis De Tocqueville (“America has no real literature of its own”), sure, but it was the Bard that really got things going. “The violence that descended that day in May may seem surreal in its origins, but it also attests to a culture that saw Shakespeare as someone—something—worth fighting for.” Read all about it here.
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January 18-21, 2022