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The Winter's Taleby Julian and Rhona Frazin
Michael Bogdanov's imaginative production of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale for Chicago Shakespeare Theater gives us a view of basic human emotions through two dramatically different lenses. At the heart of his interpretation of the play are the passions of jealousy, rage and pride and the destruction that they bring in their wake.
The director quite literally cloaks this tale in two radically different textures. The Sicilian court of King Leontes (John Reeger) is all pent-up passion, where the world is stark black and white and filled with sharp edges. It is here that we meet his pregnant wife Queen Hermione, elegantly portrayed by Barbara Robertson and his life-long friend King Polixenes. In the hands of Chicago Shakespeare favorite Kevin Gudahl, Polixenes is self-assured, a man clearly comfortable in his own body, and with his life. Leontes wrongly suspects Hermione and Polixenes of infidelity, and he is consumed with jealousy and rage. He ultimately sentences his wife to death, banishes Polixenes to far-off Bohemia, inadvertently causes the death of his beloved young son and abandons his newborn daughter, in defiance of the oracle who attests to Hermione's loyalty.
In the first act exposition, that sets up the turn-about to follow, Bogdanov is supported by an exceptional production team who have created a stylish and highly stylized environment. Derek McLane's edgy set has as its focal point a "house of cards" modern glass sculpture that quite literally tumbles and shatters when the oracle-represented by a duo who bring to mind the ubiquitous accountants who guard the sealed envelopes at televised awards ceremonies-is defied. Costume Designer Claire Lyth clothes her characters in elegantly tailored fabrics that demonstrate
Mendes at the Donmar
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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