Night & Day

April 15-21, 1999

April 21
Joe Spagnola, age 32, still remembers sitting in high-school English class being bored to tears by Shakespeare. "We read Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet," he recalls. "But then the teacher showed a BBC production of Macbeth, and I was completely captivated. I realized from there that we were supposed to watch this, not read it." Now a part-time actor and full-time employee at Barnes & Noble in Hollywood (4170 Oakwood Blvd.), he's the host of the Modern Shakespeare discussion group, which meets at the store the third Wednesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. Talking about Shakespeare's works might not sound much more exciting than reading them in school, but Spagnola gets the group -- composed of people of all ages, from teenagers to seniors -- gabbing about various productions of the Bard's writings. For example, group members familiar with the traditional Franco Zeffirelli version of Romeo and Juliet (1968) and the more recent film starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio (1996) concluded at a recent meeting that the Zeffirelli movie kicks ass. April being National Poetry Month, the group will check out Shakespeare's sonnets at tonight's gathering. Attendance is free. Call 954-923-1738.

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