The History of King Henry the Fourth | Oak Park Festival Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The History of King Henry the Fourth Closing (Theater and Galleries) Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 9 2011

This sprawling, 165-minute mash-up of the two plays Shakespeare wrote to chronicle the war-torn reign of England's King Henry IV gets a little bumpy at times--especially during its second half, which consists of a heavily edited version of the less popular Henry IV, Part II. But the casting is strong (Adam Meredith is especially combustible as rebellious Hotspur) and director Stanton Davis proves adept at both the big scenes and the astonishing quieter moments that make these plays more than mere histories, as when Prince Hal foreshadows his repudiation of Falstaff's dissolute ways. Jack Hickey's take on Falstaff--more cowardly rogue than pleasure-loving father substitute--may disappoint those who'd rather see the jolly old gourmand. Dennis Grimes is riveting and utterly believable, meanwhile, as complex, contradictory Hal. --Jack Helbig

Price: $25

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