“The Winter’s Tale” is adapted and directed by Michael Shane Eastman and is a perfect season opener.
At the beginning of “The Winter’s Tale,” Leontes, King of Sicily, husband to his virtuous pregnant wife Queen Hermione, and father to a playful precocious son Prince Mamillius, are gathered and share joyful banter with Polixenes King of Bohemia, a childhood friend of Leontes. Leontes is imploring Polixenes to extend his stay in Sicily as his guest. When he is unsuccessful, Leontes asks his wife Hermione to convince his dear friend to remain. Hermione is successful where Leontes had failed and Polixenes agrees to remain in Sicily as the guest. This act of acceptance sparks something in Leontes causing him to become suspicious of his wife and friend. Leontes deduces that they are involved in an affair, and in an instant, the tide turns.
Leontes becomes mad with jealousy ordering Camillo, one of his Lords, to poison Polixenes. Hermione swears her innocence but Leontes has her imprisoned for adultery where she gives birth to a daughter, Perdita. Polixenes escapes to Bohemia with the aid of Camillo. Mamillius estranged from his mother dies. It was reported to Leontes that Hermione died collapsing upon learning of the death of her son. Leontes, sick and enraged, arranged to have the infant Perdita removed and abandoned in the woods.
You may be asking yourself at this point…. Didn’t she say “The Winter’s Tale” is a comedy? It is! Really! No spoiler alerts here.
Sprinkled throughout “The Winter’s Tale” is romance, whimsy, song, dance, music and mirth. Along the way, we, the audience, are introduced to funny, quirky, laugh-out-loud characters. Director Michael Shane Eastman and his cast of talented stage actors take us on a remarkable journey into this fantastical fairy tale. One character, in particular, Autolycus, a mischievous con man with an infectious smile, is able to sing, dance, pick a pocket, and steal our hearts all at the same time.
This up close and personal production of “The Winter’s Tale” is transportive and exceptionally enjoyable. With extravagant costuming and cleverly designed sets, the intimacy of the Archway Theatre lends itself perfectly to the simplicity and of theatre. While honed actors carry the weight of their characters within their souls there is no wonder how this performance could be anything but a crowd pleaser.
This production's ensemble resulted in an artistic exhale that inebriated its audience who witnessed the manifestation of Director Michael Shane Eastman’s vision.
Bravo!!! I loved it. “The Winter Tale” is perfectly suited for all ages, as well as Shakespearean novices through aficionados. I know you will enjoy it.
For tickets go to www.archwayla.com or call 818 980-7529
Archway Theatre is located at 10509 Burbank Blvd.
Margaret Elizabeth Kelly,
Christian Blake Splitt
Michael Shane Eastman
Adam David Green