By Suzy Williams
Count on Pacific Resident Theatre to offer consistently outstanding entertainment. PRT’s production of Shakespeare’s Henry V is in line with that, and then some. There is no set. There is no fourth wall, and where it’s not isn’t where you’d expect. The props are minimal and recycled for different imaginary purposes. The blocking provides ships, walls, and cathedral doors. Kudos upon kudos to director Guillermo Cienfuegos for this brilliant overview, instilling stillness, vibrance and expansion into Willy the Shake’s “Invention of Heaven.”
A few of the actors are outstanding, even amongst this highly accomplished company. Joe McGovern plays Henry – the philandering party animal / wise battle-King / seductive suitor. Elizabeth Weingarten, in the minor role of Montjoy, courier to Kings, has a voice deep and surprising, and a steady gaze that makes her particularly riveting. My favorite is Dennis Madden, who, as Falstaff and the King of France, with his generous beard and robust charisma (and believable palsy in his left hand), is reminiscent of our best characters that color Venice Beach.
Henry Five is further food for thought and discussion because Shakespeare paints him as a hero, but we post-sixties hippies can’t help but think that his carrying on of grandfather Edward III’s imperialism into France is insane. So there we are, arguing with The Bard! (The fact is that Will sugar-coated the monarch, who was responsible for many reprehensible transgressions . . . but I digress.)
Go see the show anyway!
Thurs through Sat at 8:oo pm and Sun at 3:oo pm. Through June 29.
Pacific Resident Theatre
707 Venice Boulevard
By Suzy Williams