The Lion in Winter | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Lion in Winter The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 21 2016

The zingers and venomous retorts in James Goldman's costume drama may sound timeless out of the mouths of Katharine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole in the Oscar-winning 1968 movie version, but on the contemporary stage this 1966 play centered on Henry II shows its age. It's not for lack of capable performers that this Promethean Ensemble production, directed by Brian Pastor, lags and feels out of sync—Brian Parry and Elaine Carlson as King Henry and Eleanor of Aquitane (forerunners of Empire's Lucious and Cookie Lyon, if you will) play up the comedy in their cat-and-dog power-couple dynamic as much as Goldman's sometimes forced dialogue allows. But this is well-trod territory, and the two hours-plus of royal conniving winds up stranded somewhere between sketch comedy wackiness and ineffectual Shakespearean sobriety. —Dan Jakes

Price: $24, seniors $19, students $14


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