E.J. Wesley this coming Sunday. He's graciously consented to visit and let me ask a couple of questions to find out some of his secrets.
It's T day here on the A to Z and I am spotlighting the incredible director Julie Taymor. Brilliant does not even begin to describe this woman who has received numerous prestigious awards in theater, film and academia including a MacArthur Foundation genius grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
She got her start in the late 70's when she formed her own theater company Teatr Loh, which toured throughout Indonesia and the Untied States. From there she went to work collaborating with The Theater for a New Audience developing and later directing productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew and Titus Andronicus. Her greatest theater success came in 1997 when she developed, directed and designed the costumes for the international hit musical The Lion King. Her work on this production garnered her two Tony awards, one for directing and one for costume design. She became the first woman to win a Tony for directing a musical. To date The Lion King musical has earned 6 billion in ticket sales and currently has nightly productions in 45 countries.
In the late 90's Julie turned to film where she adapted her production of Titus for the big screen. It starred Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange and Alan Cumming. She went on to direct Frida, the story of artist Frida Kahlo. It received six Academy Award nominations, ultimately winning two for Original Score and Make Up. Oscar would come calling again in 2007 for Taymor's film Across the Universe, a 60's love story set to Beatles music.
As if theater and film weren't enough, Julie has also found success in directing operas. She has directed productions of The Magic Flute for the Metropolitan Opera and The Flying Dutchman for the Los Angeles Opera. She filmed her production of Oedipus Rex and it received an Emmy Award and the International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production.
My mind is blown by the sheer talent of this woman. And you know what?...She shares my birthday, December 15. We Sagittarians are in a class by ourselves, I must say.