I had hardly a doubt that Antaeus could pull off their 2015 season opener, a streamlined version of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, directed by Michael Murry. When I merely entered and viewed the space, I immediately got the feeling that my sentiments would be confirmed. The set was bare yet superbly dressed with perfect simple lighting, an unobstructed raised wood floor, minimal set pieces and a dark overhead back wall mural of the cosmos. Tone and breadth established, there was no need for anything else to be done but the actors to walk on and speak.
To say Antaeus’ style with classical material is unique to the company, intellectual, heady, perfected in speech would be to praise them for their natural extraordinary qualities. The “partner casting” whereby two actors share every role, a company tradition, in this case has created symmetry.
Notwithstanding, that I would have preferred more chemistry between some of the players and a Falstaff who was less pulled back in projection which affected other cast members momentarily torwards the end of the first act, but was in every other way, remarkable, or a much more fiercesome Bollingbrook, or a bit more emotional range from both Percy and his wife Kate, would critically overlook the fact that this company’s Henry IV delivered with absolute clarity and bold muscularity throughout and especially in the second act battle scenes.
One other actor’s work really stood out for me. Adam J. Smith as Mortimer married complete fluidity with the text and a tremendous emotional register and brought the kind of heightened experience that I always hope for in a classical piece. I was inspired to hurriedly dart through my program in the dark no less to highlight his name.
March 12th’s Rogue Cast:
King Henry: James Sutorious; Hal,
Now playing until May 3
Thursdays at 8 p.m:
March 19, 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Fridays at 8 p.m.:
March 20, 27; April 3, 10, 17, 24; May 1
Saturdays at 2 p.m.:
March 21, 28; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2 (no 2 p.m. matinee on Sat. March 14)
Saturdays at 8 p.m.:
March 21, 28; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2
Sundays at 2 p.m.: March 22, 29; April 5, 12, 19, 26; May 3
5112 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood CA, 91601
(1½ blocks south of Magnolia)
$7 in the lot at 5125 Lankershim Blvd. (west side of the street), just south of Magnolia.
FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFORMATION:
818) 506-1983 or www.Antaeus.org
Join Antaeus on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AntaeusTheater
Follow Antaeus on Twitter @AntaeusTheater
Thursdays and Fridays: $30
Saturdays and Sundays: $34