Steven Berkoff has come to town, and I rejoice. At the Joseph Papp Public Theater, he’s doing a little one-man show called Shakespeare’s Villains: A Masterclass in Evil, and one of the most agreeable aspects of the production is watching him struggle in vain to stick to the subject and not digress too frequently into his many other obsessions. Mostly, Berkoff divides his time between virtuoso rants on the London stage and a little light supporting-actor work in Hollywood (villains in Bruce Willis movies, that sort of thing), though such a threadbare characterization hardly does justice to the man who “almost single-handedly revitalized a large section of the British theatre.”

This quotation comes from the incisive S. Berkoff himself, and was his indignant response a decade ago to the fact that Fleet Street’s “Best of the Eighties” round-ups didn’t bother including him....

 
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