shakespeare

Past

MacBeth-The Definitive Production

Five Star Production of MacBeth

It was with great delight that I attended Fern Shakespeare’s truly magnificent inaugural production, MacBeth, this past weekend at Seattle Center’s Theatre 4. Everything about this production was outstanding, and what set it apart from other Shakespeare productions around the Sound, was the uniform quality of the cast’s vocal production. Every actor spoke “trippingly on the tongue” and the elevated language was communicated directly to the audience. Truly this is the best Shakespeare I have ever seen in Seattle.

Past

Richard III – à la Chinoise

The Royal Family of England portrayed as 1920’s Gangsters in Chinatown

If you have ever wondered why King Henry VIII of England was so obsessed with having a legitimate male heir, read the Shakespearean plays set during the during the War of the Roses. Shakespeare’s rendering of the end of these dynastic wars, when two rival branches of the royal family, the Yorks and the Lancasters, fought endlessly for the disputed crown of England, opened this weekend at Theater off Jackson. Produced by Rebatensemble Theatre Group, director Elizabeth Wu, staged Richard III in Chinatown in the 1920’s, with the Yorks and Lancasters, as rival gangs of speakeasy owners i.e. gangsters.

Past

Bring Down the House, Part 1: Throne of Treachery

A country on the cusp of a new era. A polarized political system, with scheming and selfishness pushing things to the point of no return. Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Bring Down the House, Part 1: Throne of Treachery mixes political intrigue and personal ambition in a gripping adaption of Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy.
Henry VI, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 may have established Shakespeare’s reputation with their original audiences, but these plays are relatively unpopular today…
Bring Down the House, Rosa Joshi and Kate Wisniewski’s adaption of Henry VI, highlights the strengths of the trilogy, and minimizes its weaknesses…

Past

Two Man Tempest

The Pocket Theater’s Two Man Tempest, though ambitious, fails to take the viewer by storm.
Two Man Tempest parodies Shakespeare’s classic story of magic, romance, and revenge. The 45-minute show, performed by Kendall Uyeji, Danny Lacker, and audience volunteers, is clearly the result of a lot of hard work. It features several rapid costume changes, puppetry, rap, and water guns, and leaves the actors visibly drenched in sweat before the end of Act 2. Despite the effort, these technical elements do little to make the show enjoyable. The script doesn’t pick up the slack. The jokes are weak, and they aren’t helped by the actors’ delivery or inability to stay in character.

Past

Love’s Labour’s Lost Hits the Parks Jogging

A joyous Love’s Labour’s Lost debuted last Sunday evening under a mottled sky and half moon in the Volunteer Park Amphitheatre. The acting troop needed to compete with the usual open park distractions and an unceasing parade of overhead jets, yet they assembled an enjoyable evening for all

Past

Summer Shakespeare 2016—Cymbeline

GreenStage’s 28th season of free outdoor theater is off to a terrific start this summer with perfect weather. I watched their production of William Shakespeare’s Cymberline in Volunteer Park this Sunday. Under the skillful direction of Vince Brady, the large company of 15 actors performed in front of the stage platform in the park.

Past

Romeo and Juliet

Disappointing R and J.

Recycled Shakespeare, Seattle’s newest Repertory Theatre, located in North Seattle, recently produced Romeo and Juliet, a play Shakespeare himself called a tragedy, but what actually has elements of melodrama. Since everybody knows the story of the star-crossed lover’s and has seen the play umpteen times, any production needs a huge dose of imagination to sustain it for two and a half-hours without cuts. In spite of some technical strengths, Brandon Brown’s production lacked both creativity and brevity.

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