Tag: Aimee Warshall

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Piccolo Theatre)

Amy Gorelow and Rocco Renda star in Piccolo Theatre's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare, directed by Jason Martin. (photo credit: Robert Erving Potter III)        
      
A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Written by William Shakespeare  
Directed by Jason Martin
at Piccolo Theatre, 600 Main St., Evanston (map)
thru May 3  |  tickets: $10-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

April 14, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Snow Queen, or When Christmas Freezes Over! (Piccolo Theatre)

Piccolo Theatre's "The Snow Queen, or When Hell Freezes Over" by Jessica Puller, directed by Nicole Keating. (photo credit: Robert Erving Potter III)        
      
The Snow Queen, or
When Christmas Freezes Over!

Written by Jessica Puller  
Directed by Nicole Keating  
at Evanston Arts Depot, 600 Main (map)
thru Dec 21  |  tickets: $10-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

November 18, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Blithe Spirit (Piccolo Theatre)

Kate McDermott stars as Elvira Condomine in Piccolo Theatre's "Blithe Spirit" by Noël Coward, directed by Christopher Marino. (photo credit: Robert E. Potter III)        
       
Blithe Spirit 

Written by Noël Coward  
Directed by Christopher Marino
at Evanston Arts Depot, 600 Main Street (map)
thru May 11  |  tickets: $10-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

March 31, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Six Dead Queens and an Inflatable Henry (Piccolo Theatre)

Amy Gorelow, Vanessa Hughes, Berner Taylor, Deborah Craft Proud, Nicole Keating and Denita Linnertz star in Piccolo Theatre's "Six Dead Queens and an Inflatable Henry". (photo credit: Robert Erving Potter III)        
       
Six Dead Queens
    and an Inflatable Henry!
  

Created by Foursight Theatre  
Directed by the Piccolo ensemble
at Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln (map)
thru Oct 6   |  tickets: $14-$29   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
           Read entire review
     

September 14, 2012 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Six Dead Queens and an Inflatable Henry (Piccolo Theatre)

A royal cat fight

 

Amy Gorelow as Catherine of Aragon Denita Linnertz as Catherine Parr Brianna Sloane as Jane Seymour
 
Piccolo Theatre presents
 
Six Dead Queens and an Inflatable Henry
 
Created by Foursight Theatre, UK
Devised by the Women of
Piccolo Theatre 
at the
Evanston Arts Depot, 600 Main St. (map)
through June 5th | tickets: $15-$20 | more info
 

reviewed by Keith Ecker 

Though its been more than 500 years since his rule, England’s King Henry VIII still ranks in the minds of many as one of the most boorish and misogynistic men to ever hold the title of head of state. That’s saying something considering we live in a world that brought us the likes of Attila the Hun, Ivan the Terrible and Adolph Hitler. Yet unlike these other wretched men, there’s always been a bit of a whimsical fascination with Bluff Harry from Herman’s Hermits’ “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am” to Piccolo Theatre’s production of Six Dead Queens and an Inflatable Henry.

Dani Bryant as Anne Boleyn Originally created by the women of Foursight Theatre in the UK, Six Dead Queens is one part cabaret, one part biography and a whole lot of comedy. It stars the six unfortunate wives of King Henry VIII all forced to spend eternity at a sleepover. Like school-age girls at an overnight, they talk about boys—or rather one particular boy—while poking each other with catty jabs—sometimes in the form of words and sometimes in the form of swords.

The opening scene sets the tone perfectly. As all the women lie concealed under the covers, the silence of the moment is broken by a well-paced series of flatulent outbursts. This dashes any worries that we’re about to be bored by a heady academic romp through history.

Next, each queen is introduced through song. There’s the spicy Spaniard Katherine of Aragon (Amy Gorelow), the beheaded Anne Boleyn (Dani Bryant), little-miss-perfect Jane Seymour (Brianna Sloane), dumb and ugly Anna of Cleves (Leeann Zahrt), the promiscuous Kathryn Howard (Nicole Keating) and the motherly Catherine Parr (Denita Linnertz). The actresses’ multi-part harmony is impressive as is their adeptness with instruments. This talent enhances the humor. What could be funnier than watching the very serious Katherine of Aragon bang out a bass line on an upright?

Characters squabble with one another in catfight fashion. Katherine of Aragon and her successor Anne Boleyn, whom the King tried to court behind Katherine’s back, row as do Boleyn and her successor Jane Seymour, whom bore the King his only son, Prince Edward.

Nicole Keating as Kathryn Howard There’s also ample ganging up. Anna of Cleves gets it the worst, bearing the reputation of being ugly and foul smelling. Her marriage with the King lasted a brief six months, which in the judgmental eyes of the other ladies, makes her inferior.

The play lacks any sort of cohesive plot. Instead, it plays as a series of monologues, musical numbers and sketches. It’s effective for about an hour. But by the end, Six Dead Queens runs out of any new ground to cover.

The actresses all deliver outstanding performances. Through vocal inflection, mannerisms and personality ticks, the women bring to life six unique individuals with completely separate personalities. In addition, the roles call for a sweeping spectrum of dispositions from slaphappy to somber. The performers are able to make the switch effortlessly.

Six Dead Queens is an entertaining intersection of academia and vaudeville. At times uproariously funny, at times remarkably sad, the piece successfully explores how competitiveness can make women their own worst enemies, how comfort can make them their own saviors and how men can be pigs.

 
Rating: ★★★
 
Amy Gorelow as Catherine of Aragon Brianna Sloane as Jane Seymour Dani Bryant as Anne Boleyn Denita Linnertz as Catherine Parr Nicole Keating as Kathryn Howard
April 20, 2010 | 0 Comments More