Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Get Thee to Hidden Room Theatre for Rose Rage!

Hey Y'all,
I am on vacation and so not writing full on reviews right now. But I am interrupting my carb-laden downtime, putting down the hoagies and soft pretzels long enough to strongly suggest you cancel any other plans you might have and get tickets to see ROSE RAGE, currently being performed by The Hidden Room Theatre. It closes this weekend so do not delay!

The play is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry VI Trilogy, created by Edward Hall and Roger Warren for Propellor. It is presented in two parts and features a cast comprised of both Americans and Brits. Before being united in the same space for realtime rehearsals, the company worked together via Skype. That's not the only new twist on ye olde bard. The performance was also livestreamed recently.

So much to love about this production. Master of Company, Beth Burns, is a tremendous gift to Austin. She puts on Shakespeare using original practices-- all-male casts, house lights up, authentic period costumes, and live music performed as it was back in the day. And she does so in The Hidden Room, which has got to be the coolest venue in Austin, period. Her presentation of The Taming of the Shrew featuring Ryan Crowder remains one of my all-time favorite Shakespeare productions ever, anywhere (and I catch Shakespeare whenever I can, wherever I can including at the Stratford Festival in Ontario).

Ryan Crowder!
Crowder is back in this show, playing young Henry. The entire cast is just lovely-- Austin Shakespeare audience regulars will recognize many of the actors here. How lucky we are to have such a dedicated concentration of Shakespeare players in this town. I always love catching Robert Matney, who in this adaptation does a great turn at Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, charged with protecting the minor king. And new to the Austin scene, arrived as part of the London team, is the delightful Laurence Pears. As the rebellious Jack Cade he's part Alex from Clockwork Orange, part Adam Ant and 100% a wonder to behold.

Watching the show with it's drama, sword fights, shouting, plot twists, fabulous costumes and all the rest of it, I had a funny thought. I wanted to post a note to all parents with kids hooked on video games, tell them to hide the iPads and Xboxes, etc, and take their spawn to see this show. So much more exciting and animated and 3D than anything on a screen. I mean thoroughly brilliant.

The show closes this weekend so don't hesitate and do hurry to get your tickets. Thanks so much, Ms. Burns & Company, for another spectacular show.


Beth said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, and your presence inside the Hidden Room, Spike. You always spark things up for us.

Beth said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, and for your presence inside the HIdden Room, Spike. You always spark things up for us! Looking forward to having you with us again soon. xx - Beth