Play Sonnet 83

I never saw that you did painting need,
And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed
The barren tender of a poet’s debt:
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself, being extant, well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, what worth in you doth grow.
This silence for my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory being dumb;
For I impair not beauty being mute,
When others would give life, and bring a tomb.
     There lives more life in one of your fair eyes
     Than both your poets can in praise devise.



Sonnet 83 tells its subject they are in no need of painting, either of their face or in art, as everything, including words, pales in comparison to their beauty.

Will’s beloved does not need to be described nor require any makeup, but naturally exceeds what can be written about him. So Will has given up attempting to express the youth’s worth, because the reality would show only the weakness of his poetic skill. The young man has objected to Will’s silence, which he says cannot do any harm to the boy’s beauty. Will concludes that the reality of the youth’s beauty is much greater than either he or any other poet could express.


Will’s Wordplay

“Painting” has dual meaning. It references use of cosmetics, unnecessary here as the beloved is flawless; and since he is so perfect, Shakespeare decided not to try and “paint” him with words.


Cortlandt Alley, Chinatown, Manhattan

“Cortlandt Alley is unusual among Manhattan alleyways in that it runs for three blocks. You can occasionally find some that run two blocks — like Staple and Collister Streets on the west side of Tribeca — but three is a surfeit. The alley goes all the way back to 1817, when local landowners John Jay, Peter Jay Munro, and Gurdon S. Mumford laid out the narrow lane through properties between Broadway and what would be Elm Street (which is now a part of Lafayette) and White and Canal Streets. If this 1830 map accurately reflects the reality back then, the alley might well have run along the stream leading into Collect Pond, which was soon to be placed in a canal today’s Canal Street runs over. In any case, the original Cortlandt Alley presented a rural aspect much different from the one seen today.

The section between Franklin and White was laid out in the 1820s and lies 25 feet farther west than the original section. It was named for a Dutch nabob, Jacobus Van Cortlandt, one of the original European landowners in these parts; the alley, Cortlandt Street, Jacobus Place in Marble Hill, and all the Van Cortlandts this and that in the Bronx, including the mansion and the park, all spring from that family. The mercantile structures we find lining it go back to after the Civil War, when Lower Manhattan’s trade really picked up.” [1]


In Pop Culture

The band Vampire Weekend filmed its music video, Cousins in the alley. The whole video occurs solely within the alley with neon tape covering the walls, a large painted neon target at the end of the street, and the band moving throughout the street.





ACTOR – Max Casella

MAX CASELLA will soon begin filming his series regular role of Julie Silver on HBO’s forthcoming untitled ROCK N ROLL drama series, executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Terence Winter.
Max will next be starring in the dark comedy APPLESAUCE, premiering next month at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.
Casella was most recently seen on the big screen in WILD CARD opposite Sofia Vergara and Jason Statham, Woody Allen’s BLUE JASMINE, Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Andrew Dominik’s KILLING THEM SOFTLY, Spike Lee’s OLDBOY, John Turturro’s FADING GIGOLO and in Killer Films’ THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD, playing legendary film director Stanley Kubrick.
On television Max played Benny Fazio for five seasons of HBO’s “The Sopranos” and the character of Leo D’Alessio in “Boardwalk Empire.”
On stage he played Bottom in Julie Taymor’s critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Theater For A New Audience.
The production was filmed for theatrical release by Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto.
Max recently appeared on Broadway in “Relatively Speaking,” a collection of three one-act comedies directed by John Turturro, in which he appeared in Ethan Coen’s “Talking Cure” and Woody Allen’s “Honeymoon Hotel.”
Max has often collaborated with writer/director/actor John Turturro: in 2008 he played Clov to Turturro’s Hamm in a critically acclaimed production of Samuel
Beckett’s “Endgame” at BAM as well as co-adapting Italo Calvino’s “Fiabe Italiane” with Turturro, which toured Italy in 2010. He also played multiple roles in Turturro’s music documentary PASSIONE.
He made his Broadway debut as Timon in the original cast of the Tony Award-winning musical “The Lion King,” for which he received a Theatre World award for Outstanding Broadway Debut and a Drama Desk nomination.
Max Casella first became widely known to audiences with his portrayal of Vinnie Delpino on the hit series “Doogie Howser, M.D.


DIRECTOR – Seth Wiley

Seth Wiley is an American director known for his work in commercials and episodic television. He has worked with David Mamet and Shawn Ryan on their TV Show “The Unit” and his short film “The Good Things” won the Grand Prix at the Deauville International Film Festival. He lives in Los Angeles, where he often looks after other people’s pets.