Richard III

Trust Kitchen Dog Theater not to do anything ordinary with Shakespeare’s second-longest play. For starters, director Ian Leson (who’s usually a lead actor for this company) spent more than a year cutting the five-act script to watchable length (just over two hours). He’s done that by keeping all the murders offstage and eliminating extraneous characters (who wants “Scrivener” on their acting résumé anyway?). Unconventional casting is another KDT hallmark—they’re not this town’s leading avant-garde theater for nothing—so Leson hired director René Moreno, who uses a wheelchair in life and onstage, to play the physically challenged Richard. The other 40 characters are portrayed by a diverse group of seven actors—Cameron Cobb, Barry Nash, Robert McCollum, Tina Parker, Christina Vela, Dan Forsythe, David Goodwin—who somehow manage to make each personality distinctly quirky (Vela’s Queen Margaret plays with a live tarantula). The level of acting is A-plus throughout. Moreno focuses his evil intent into Richard’s voice and eyes. Parker screws up her pretty face into a storm of grief as Queen Elizabeth. On Clare Floyd DeVries’ steam-punk set, the planets align for the last great battles of the troubled Plantagenet king.
Sundays; Thursdays-Saturdays; Wed., April 30. Starts: April 13. Continues through May 3, 2008
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Elaine Liner
Contact: Elaine Liner