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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shakespeare Theatre Company's Henry IV, Part 1

I just went to see Henry IV Part 1 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.

It’s a great show!

If you are anywhere near Washington, do yourself a favor and go see it — it’s very funny and very entertaining.

It runs through June 7. Henry IV Part 2 begins its run today, and runs through June 8.

You can get tickets here:

The veteran stage and screen actor Stacy Keach plays Falstaff. He has great comedic timing, and really gets the most out of this most beloved character.

I had seen Stacy Keach on screen before for years, but never on stage before. I was very excited to see him live on stage, and I wasn’t disappointed. He has a larger than life energy that perfectly fits Falstaff.

Stacy Keach

The show was directed by the acclaimed Michael Kahn, STC’s Artistic Director and the production is superb — the sets, the music, the costumes and of course, and most importantly, the cast.

I enjoy the play very much, and this was as solid and as entertaining a production as you will find. Parts 1 and 2 are Mr. Kahn’s very favorite Shakespeare plays, and it shows in the production. Every actor puts their all into the production and with so much energy, that the play was over before I knew it.

The cast was excellent and very engaging. There were some familiar faces in the cast I recognized, like Aaron Gaines who was great in The Shakespeare Forum’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in New York City, Chris Genebach whom I’d seen in STC’s Measure for Measure last year, Craig Wallace whom I’d seen in STC’s Twelfth Night — he was great as Sir Toby Belch.

Edward Gero is a very convincing King Henry IV. His relationship with his son was very sincere, and his disappointment in Hal was very real.

I especially liked John Keabler as Hotspur and Matthew Amendt as Hal. They were very well cast, and both were excellent at showing the many facets of each character. I have never been really moved by the death of Hotspur before, but these actors together made the moment of his death much more human than I expected. Well done.

I hope you get a chance to see this excellent production — it runs through June 7. 

Edward Gero as Henry IV

I will see Henry IV Part 2 this week and let you know what I think.


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