Sunday, March 18, 2012

Elizabeth--Heart of a King

Well, Dearly Beloved, I know I said "no more reviews," but this is a very interesting play.  The Vortex has mounted a workshop production of Lorella Loftus' "Elizabeth Heart of a King."  There are only five more performances, so make a reservation soon.  We need to see full houses, so that Lorella can find backers to mount a full production.

It's a good story.  Complicated, but a good story.  That leads to a lot of short scenes that require set changes.  Now, they are performing it on a bare stage, with four chairs, a table, and a bed.  IMO, the set changes should not take so long.  Somebody needs to light a fire under the cast and crew, as everyone schleps something at some time. 

One of the friends I was sitting with mentioned that she liked the fact that the actors were all in black, as there was nothing to distract from the story, and this is true.  I would probably eschew full costumes in favour of using pieces...crowns, hats, capes, gloves, and drapes of various sorts, all laid on over the basic black.  I would have put all the women in long skirts, which they did only for the actress playing Elizabeth at the end of her life.

The stated goal of the author/director/lead (a third of the lead) is to explore the character of Elizabeth I in the context of her times.  What she manages to do is make the incredibly complicated period of her reign make sense!  Oh, some of what she had in there might have been redundant, but maybe not.  People's names change, as they gain titles or marry, and she had several actors in multiple roles, so it probably helped to identify characters frequently.

There are some stellar performances, particularly from Derek Jones, Rae Peterson and Ben Weaver.

So, yes, it's too long, but SouthBy is over tonight, so what the hell else do you have to do?  Go and support this, because it's good, and, with support, can be awesome.

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