Marcel Marceau became a great institution in all the world’s theater without ever saying a word. But oh, what he could say without words.
Alone in white face on an otherwise dark and empty stage, Marcel Marceau as a seasick passenger at the rail of an ocean liner can make you think it’s the theater that’s tipping in the storm, not him. When his hands flutter in his bird-keeper bit, you could swear there were doves in his act. And when he tells the story of a trial — playing the parts of judge, prosecutor, defendant, wife, defense lawyer, and hangman — we feel we’ve met a whole cast of characters from Dickens or Balzac.
Marcel Marceau’s first American audience was 3000 GIs in France with General Patton’s 6th Army, in 1945. With suppleness and story-telling magic that seem undiminished at 77, the voice of silence, the poet of gesture is a hot-ticket in America again this summer. And on radio, he talks!
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)