The Winter’s Tale is fantastic

February 23, 2009

I saw William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale last Thursday at the BAM in Brooklyn and loved it. The play is one of BAM’s “Bridge Projects” bringing together talent from London and New York.

The play is masterfully produced under the direction of Sam Mendez of American Beauty fame. I loved the effects and acting. My real criticism comes from the abrupt and unexpected tone change between the first and second parts. The first part is incredibly dark with its testament to the follies of jealousy and hasty judgment. The second part on the force of love as a means of redemption is incredibly light with farcical elements. The two parts tie the story well together and are compelling independently, but I expected a more gradual tone shift (admittedly that would have been hard to accomplish given the 16 year time difference between the two parts but something just “felt off” in the way it was done). I would have also cut out the dancing inflatable breast/penis scene which did not feel like it fit with the rest of the play.

As a side note, I was very impressed by Ethan Hawke’s acting. He often gets a bad rep, but I found him to be one of the very best actors in the play.

If you are in New York, check the play out!

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