Tag: James Newcomb

Review: Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare, 2017)

Jennie Greenberry and Jennifer Latimore star in Love's Labor's Lost, Chicago Shakespeare           
      
  

Love’s Labor’s Lost

Written by William Shakespeare 
Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier (map)
thru March 26  |  tix: $48-$88  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

March 4, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Tug of War – Foreign Fire (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Once I Was a Soldier by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett, Tug of War Foreign Fire          
      

    
Tug of War:
   Foreign Fire
 

Written by William Shakespeare 
Adapted/Directed by Barbara Gaines 
Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier (map)
thru June 12  |  tix: $85-$100  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

May 25, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Harry Judge stars as Henry in Chicago Shakespeare's "Henry V" by William Shakespeare, directed by Christopher Luscombe. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)        
      
Henry V

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Christopher Luscombe  
at Chicago Shakespeare on Navy Pier (map)
thru June 15  |  tickets: $48-$88   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

June 2, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Measure for Measure (Goodman Theatre)

Alejandra Escalante and Jay Whittaker star in Goodman Theatre's "Measure for Measure" by William Shakespeare, directored by Robert Falls. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)       
      
Measure for Measure 

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Robert Falls
at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn (map)
thru April 14  |  tickets: $25-$86   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

March 19, 2013 | 5 Comments More

Review: Timon of Athens (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Ian McDiarmid (center) as Timon, along with the cast, in Chicago Shakespeare's "Timon of Athens" by William Shakespeare, directed by Barbara Gaines (photo credit: Liz Lauren)       
      
Timon of Athens 

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Barbara Gaines 
at Chicago Shakespeare, Navy Pier (map)
thru June 10  |  tickets: $44-$75   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
           Read entire review
     

May 5, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Madness of George III (Chicago Shakespeare)

  
  

The real King Lear

  
  

King George III (Harry Groener) and the royal family greet their subjects in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Madness of George III. Photo by Liz Lauren.

  
Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents
   
The Madness of George III
   
Written by Alan Bennett
Directed by Penny Metropulos
at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier (map)
thru June 12  |  tickets: $44-$75  |  more info

Reviewed by Lawrence Bommer

Talk about life imitating art. Like the fictional King Lear of Shakespeare’s harshest imagination, in the late 18th century King George III of the troubled House of Hanover descended into madness, then briefly emerged from it as he realized that a king is mortal and that others have suffered as much as he. He too had vicious offspring: two sons – the fat and foolish Prince of Wales, later George IV, and the foppish Duke of York – were every bit as ungrateful as Goneril and Regan (and he had no Cordelia to redeem the curse). George was temporarily “cured” by a tough-love regimen: A monarch who had never been contradicted in his life was restrained by strait-jackets and strapped to a chair like a thief in a pillory. If not worse, the treatment was as vicious as the malady.

Harry Groener as the ailing King George III and Ora Jones as his devoted Queen Charlotte in Alan Bennett's The Madness of George III. Photo by Peter Bosy.If Lear’s story is tragic, George’s is pathetic, so great is the gulf between his real illness (porphiria, a medical and not a mental degenerative disease) and the neo-medieval physicians who think the solution is just a question of bloodletting, poultices, and a daily inspection of the chamberpot. It’s too easy to say that George was unhinged by the ingratitude of his American subjects in daring to revolt—or that his peace of mind was subverted by parliamentary plots hatched by his enemies the Whigs (under the unscrupulous Charles Fox). (The government’s Tories, under William Pitt, were not above exploiting the addlepated king as he forfeited control over almost all his functions and functionaries.) His was a classic case of hubris: The body’s conditional state betrayed the monarch’s absolute power.

Alan Bennett’s much-praised 1991 dramatization of this unpleasantness (made into Nicholas Hytner’s superb 1994 film with Nigel Hawthorne as the humbled king) recalls Thomas Hogarth’s most vicious caricatures: It conjures up a dysfunctional dynasty as fraught with friction as any family and a political circus in which Whigs and Tories behave just as badly as our bad boys do in 2011, not 1785.

Penny Metropulos’ all-engrossing staging is a marvel of perpetual motion. Its energy is coiled and concentrated in Tony-nominee Harry Groener’s piledriving performance in the dual title role (the madness as much as the king). In this awesome fall from grace we watch the symbol of the then-world’s greatest empire lose authority as he does his bowels, brain and locomotion. The well-named Groener makes us feel his pain in each particular (and Bennett is nothing if not graphic in his depiction of a body breaking down).

The king’s sole help comes from Ora Jones’ magnificent Queen Charlotte, George’s fearlessly loyal, unjustly neglected wife, his faithful equerries (Kevin Gudahl and Erik Hellman), and his principled and frustrated prime minister (Nathan Hosner). All do legion work above and beyond every theatrical expectation.

     
King George III (Harry Groener) celebrates his recovery with his devoted Queen Charlotte (Ora Jones) in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Madness of George III. Photo by Liz Lauren. King George III (Harry Groener, center) handles government affairs with Prime Minister William Pitt (Nathan Hosner, far left) as Fortnum (Mark D. Hines) awaits orders, in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Madness of George III. Photo by Liz Lauren.
King George III (Harry Groener) embraces his straitjacket as he struggles to regain control of his mind in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Madness of George III. Photo by Liz Lauren. Queen Charlotte (Ora Jones) warns her ailing husband, King George III (Harry Groener), of his government's impending plan to revoke his political powers, as Captain Fitzroy (Kevin Gudahl, center) and Captain Greville (Erik Hellman, left) look on, in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Madness of George III. Photo by Liz Lauren.

As devious as the disease that wracks the king, Richard Baird plays his heir with odious opportunism, matched by Alex Weisman as his corrupt and corpulent younger brother. David Lively’s Lord Chancellor is amusingly caught in the crossfire between both factions, while the four doctors (Brad Armacost, Patrick Clear, William Dick and James Newcomb) display a cornucopia of ignorance that Moliere would envy.

The near-three hours fly by as pell-mell conflicts ebb and seethe under William Bloodgood’s immense Palladian portico. Its most telling moment is when a recovering George experiences the only good treatment he received: He plays a dying King Lear, suddenly realizing that another man wrote about and an imaginary one felt his plight. That, of course, was to know how powerless you are when fate toys with you and your own body turns on you worse than any enemies could imagine. You feel like a voyeur as you watch this scatological and scandalous story unfold, but you can’t take your eyes away for an instant.

  
  
Rating: ★★★★
  
  

Suspecting a plot to dethrone him, King George III (Harry Groener) attacks his son, the Prince of Wales (Richard Baird), attended by Dr. Richard Warren (Patrick Clear, left), as Queen Charlotte (Ora Jones, right) rushes to quell him and the Duke of York (Alex Weisman) tumbles to escape the fray, in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Madness of George III. Photo by Liz Lauren.

All photos by Liz Lauren and Peter Bosy.

     

 

April 21, 2011 | 1 Comment More

San Diego mayor to join cast of “The Laramie Project”

San Diego’s Republican mayor Jerry Sanders, who endorsed marriage equality in support of his lesbian daughter in 2007, will join the cast of the San Diego reading of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later, to be performed October 12 at the La Jolla Playhouse.

JERRY SANDERS SAN DIEGO X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Per La Jolla Playhouse, “the reading will be helmed by acclaimed director Darko Tresnjak. In addition to the mayor, the cast includes Doug Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winner and adapter/director of the Playhouse’s upcoming production of Creditors, San Diego Rep Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse, as well as the acclaimed actors Mare Winningham, Robert Foxworth, Amanda Naughton, James Newcomb, Stark Sands, T. Ryder Smith, James Sutorius, among many others.”

More hereby Julie Bolcer

September 25, 2009 | 0 Comments More