Richard III, The Sonny and Cher Show

PROFESSOR ANDERSON: Last year, we did Richard III. One group did their scene as the Mafiosi. Another set theirs during the Roman Empire. And my favorite, the climactic last scene was set during the final days of The Sonny and Cher Show. Just remember, whatever interpretation you choose should highlight the themes you see in the scene. And if the love of the Bard’s language still doesn’t inspire you, remember this will be fifty percent of your final grade.

Richard III is a historical tragedy by William Shakespeare, probably written around 1593. It is one of the longest of his plays, and is often abridged for performances. It is about King Richard III of England, depicted in the play as an ugly hunchback and an absolute villain. The final scene is set at the Battle of Bosworth, when Richard’s supporters desert him; he is killed by the Earl of Richmond, who claims the throne as Henry VII.

The Sonny and Cher Show was a 1976-77 television variety show with music and comic sketches, which followed on from The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1971-74), The Sonny Comedy Revue (1974), and Cher (1975). Sonny and Cher got divorced, hence the separate shows, but with the bitterness of their divorce behind them, they came back with another show made together, although slightly more subdued in tone. Variety shows were on their way out, and the final few episodes were quickly aired in a late-night Monday evening time slot – this would have been the “final days” of the show. In the last episode, Tina Turner was the guest star.

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