Tag: Aaron Christensen

Review: Captain Blood (First Folio Theatre)

Nick Sandys, Heather Chrisler and Austin England star in Captain Blood, First Folio           
      
  

Captain Blood

Adapted by David Rice
  from novel by Rafael Sabatini
First Folio Theatre, Oak Brook (map)
thru Feb 26  |  tix: $29-$39  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

February 18, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train (Eclipse Theatre)

Johnathan Nieves and Valdez Christian Castro in Jesus Hopped A Train, Eclipse Theatre          
       

   
Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train

Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru May 22  |  tix: $30  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

April 26, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Henry V (Oak Park Festival Theatre)

     
Dennis Grimes as Henry and cast of Henry V - Oak Park Festival


Henry V

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Kevin Theis
at Austin Gardens, Oak Park (map)
thru Aug 20  |  tickets: $20-$25   | more info

Check for half-price tickets

     Read entire review

     

July 16, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Review: King Henry the Fourth (Oak Park Festival Theatre)

        
        

Shakespeare adaptation tightens drama of embattled king’s reign

  
  

Michael Sherwin as King Henry and Dennis Grimes as Prince Hal in Oak Park Festival Theatre's summer 2011 production of "The History of King Henry the Fourth." Photo by Johnny Knight.

  
Oak Park Festival Theatre presents
      
      
The History of King Henry the Fourth
    
Written by William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Stanton Davis
at Austin Gardens, 157 Forest Ave., Oak Park (map)
through July 9  | 
tickets: $20-$25  |  more info

Reviewed by Dan Jakes

Some of Shakespeare’s stories make better picnic-plays than others. I’m not sure if Henry IV’s encyclopedic grandeur pairs ideally with noodle salad and summer breeze–parks provide a more suitable venue for lighter fare–but as far as the Bard’s histories go, you can do worse than Oak Park Festival Theatre’s competent, sound, no-frills adaptation of Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, performed outdoors in Oak Park’s Austin Gardens.

Dennis Grimes as Prince Hal and Michael Sherwin as King Henry in Oak Park Festival Theatre's summer 2011 production of "The History of King Henry the Fourth." Photo by Johnny Knight.Theatre buffs will get the most out of director and adaptor Stanton Davis’ three hour production, which precedes Kevin Theis’ Henry V, opening this July. In order to tighten the drama of the embattled king’s reign, Davis does away with some tangential relationship studies and sub-plots. His cuts clarify and streamline the political history that would otherwise be less accessible to a mainstream audience–here, the play’s war and usurping-paranoia are brought to the forefront. Arguably, though, the most interesting contribution of the slow part 1 is the exposition and slow-simmer buildup it provides for the more action-heavy part 2; stripping away those asides adds narrative to an already exposition-loaded drama. Those with the patience to sort out the family hierarchies, crusades, grudges, and ennui of the first half will find themselves rewarded with a satisfying drama once part 2 rolls around.

As Falstaff, company artistic director Jack Hickey helps build a bridge over some of the plot’s tedium.  King Henry (Michael Sherwin) possesses the show’s namesake; it’s Falstaff that provides its heart. Hickey brings the necessary charm to the plus-sized, oversexed and under-labored drinking buddy to Henry IV’s son, Hal (Dennis Grimes). Hickey’s loveable portrayal makes both Falstaff’s no-consequence outlook and the future king’s wasted tavern hours believable–even sympathetic. His act II speech justifying cowardice amidst the carnage of war is especially well-delivered; Hickey brings out both the monologues’ humor and truth. Likewise, the rest of the ensemble is strongly cast. Maggie Kettering (Lady Percy) finds immediacy in Shakespeare’s poetry, and both Adam Meredith (Hotspur) and Grimes speak with conviction and clarity.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
  
  

Aaron Christensen as Pistol, Logan Black as Poins in Oak Park Festival Theatre's summer 2011 production of "The History of King Henry the Fourth." Photo by Johnny Knight.

Michael Moran as Prince John in Oak Park Festival Theatre's summer 2011 production of "The History of King Henry the Fourth." Photo by Johnny Knight. Jack Hickey as Falstaff in Oak Park Festival Theatre's summer 2011 production of "The History of King Henry the Fourth." Photo by Johnny Knight. Aaron Christensen as Pistol in Oak Park Festival Theatre's summer 2011 production of "The History of King Henry the Fourth." Photo by Johnny Knight.
        
June 18, 2011 | 0 Comments More