Reviewed by Paula Citron
The Winter’s Tale has an electrifying first act. That alone makes the trip to Stratford worthwhile.
The play is one of Shakespeare’s romances – meaning that there is direct intervention by the gods – in other words, a tragedy with a somewhat happy ending. Director Marti Maraden has excelled herself in highlighting the darkness of the first half. Ben Carlson as King Leontes is a rattlesnake of paranoia, lashing out in jealousy at his innocent wife and courtiers.
The second act, in the sunny kingdom of Bohemia, is not a tightly written, but is filled with some interesting characters. John Pennoyer’s design, set in the Balkans, is simply one of the most gorgeous in Stratford’s history.
This production demonstrates what a gifted director can do with a dream cast. Standouts include Seana McKenna, Mike Shara and Tom Rooney. Randy Hughson does a delightful cameo as Time.
A definite hit.
The Winter’s Tale continues at the Tom Patterson Theatre until Sept. 25.
The Winter’s Tale
Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Marti Maraden
Starring Ben Carlson, Yanna McIntosh, Sean Arbuckle, Randy Hughson, Seana McKenna, Dan Chameroy, Ian Lake, Mike Shara, Cara Ricketts and Tom Rooney
Tom Patterson Theatre, May 27 to Sept. 25, 2010