I saw this show two times. Once last week by myself. Then this week I brought my wife. I saw the advertisement in a store as well as here. I love the movie and the storyline and wanted to see the live action. It was money well spent first and second time I go see the show. I was first greeted by a lovely young lady where the tickets were sold. There was also refreshments that were being sold. The young lady whom I bought the tickets from, had a beautiful personality and took care of all customers and answered any questions. She even offered to assist with any seating arrangements and needs we may need. When the show started I saw how the action was all around me. Kings, Queen, Princes and princess all around. The show opened up with King Henry and Princess Alice. I thought it was interesting the chemistry between both actors. The girl playing Alice was not what I expected to play in this type of role or IO have seen in other productions. I was impressed with a different take on casting the role. In the beginning I thought maybe she was just nervous but for the rest of the show, I was disappointed. She scowls and rolls her eyes and looked like she had better to do with her time then to engage her audience. I have seen the Lion in Winter with other companies and dont remember the character of Alice being so wretched. For this production, I would have liked to see her cut. The first time I saw it, i thought maybe it was an off night for her. However the second time I bring my wife and it was the same. My wife was not impressed either. Perhaps the actress needs to work on her people skills. Even during her curtain call, she wasnot very pleasant. Both times, I was enamored with the lady who played Eleanor of Aquitaine. What a beauty. She showed many sides of Eleanor. She was very humorous and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute she was on stage. When she wasn't, I wanted to see more. She had a remarkable costume. The greens and golds were perfect for the Queen. The gentleman playing Henry had a unique voice and presence on stage. Totally different from Peter O'Toole in the original movie. He was very extreme in his acting and played Henry very well. This was the first time , I have seen this production where Henry is bald. This was a different perception of Henry and it was perfect. The directors madea good choice. His interactions with all the characters was very convincing and I enjoyed his laughter. The part of King Phillip of France was played by a very young blond boy. He was a little to feminine for the role, but when it was time to go toe to toe with Henry, he did his best and I believed this young king. His costume was perfect for French times. His royal cape was fitted to show off his physique and still give the character what was needed. The three Princes (Geoffrey, Richard and John). Very well done. To look at these three, you would not know they were not related in real life. I believed the walking postule John as he is referred to by Richard. His makeup to show the pimples he is supposed ot have was funny. He was quite the bratty teenager and reminded me that times have not changed. Children need discipline! The young man playing Geoffrey was coniving and yet had a weakness to be liked. His scenes with Eleanor bring that out. He played the perfect villain all dressed in black. He has a stage presence, humor, sincerity and have to keep track of him to see if he will do any more shows. He has a look. Is he a model too? The man playing Richard was a little short but played well with his "family". He was very funny especially towards Prince John. He had great chemistry with everyone except Alice (she was not pleasant at all, thats not Richards fault). The music and scene changes went by without issues. There is so much going on in the scenes that the crew had it down pat what was to be done. BRAVO STAGE TECHNICIANS! The actors cannot do their part without you. I hope actors understand that. My wife and I attend all sorts of shows regardless of their status. From little productions to Broadway,we have seen it all. We enjoy getting to see a variety. Sometimes its good, sometimes it is not. For the most part, this was an enjoyable production of a classic. It was staged in an unlikely place, but the production team did wonders with their atmosphere and really tried to bring out the spirit of 1183. I hope to see more from the production company ZAZEN.
Event Review: The Lion In Winter
I went and saw this play last night and was captivated from start to finish. This type of production is normally not my cup of tea, however, the storyline was interesting and at times really funny and the cast was undescribably good, all full of energy, passion and emotion. The venue, Collins College Film Studio, was very easy to find also and quite easy to get to being only a mile south of the 202 on Priest. My only complaint was that the studio itself was a tid bit warm but the rest of the building was nicely air-conditioned and they were selling very cold bottled water and other concessions for only $1 so it was pretty easy to get past the warmth of the studio. Zazen Productions, director Bill Clayten, the crew and the cast made my evening quite enjoyable and I look forward to attending and supporting their future endeavors!
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