BY GEORGINA CASAZZA
WESLEY HILLS – The Antrim Players present “The Lion in Winter” written by James Goldman and directed by Debra Lee Failla to end off their spectacular 81st season. A historical drama with comedic undertones, “The Lion in Winter” tells the story of the Plantagenet family as they fight and manipulate to inherit a kingdom.
It is Christmas 1183 and King Henry II of England (Scott Nangle) is planning on gathering his family to announce who he will name successor to the throne. The queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Julia Rust), is being let out of prison for the holidays, after raising an army against her husband. Their three sons, Prince Richard (Danny Charest), Prince Geoffrey (Neil Battinelli) and Prince John (Alexander Boruff) are also gathering at the palace, along with the King’s mistress, Alais (Cat Smith), the sister to Prince Philip of France (TJ Reissner). All have an opinion of who should be the heir to the throne, yet none can agree.. “The Lion in Winter” follows the inner conflict of the royal family as they fight, deceive and scheme over the kingdom.
Danny Charest’s performance as Prince Richard truly stood out at the small Rockland theatre, as his character is the most serious among the bunch. Charest carefully maneuvered his portrayal of Richard and demanded attention anytime he entered the stage. Surprisingly enough, this is Charest’s first appearance at the Antrim Playhouse, but you may recognize him from his years of working in the local theatre circuit.
The lengthy two act play helps set the scene for audience members with an outstanding set design by David W. Julin. Julin has received the Best Scenic Design Award from BroadwayWorld.com for the second year in a row for his previous work on Elmwood Playhouse’s “On Golden Pond” and “Next to Normal.” His work in Lion is exceptional, and will make you think you stepped back into time to historical England.
“The Lion in Winter” will run weekends through June 24th at The Antrim Playhouse, located at 15 Spook Rock Rd., Wesley Hills. As this season comes to a close, you can look forward to big name shows including “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Lost in Yonkers” in their 82nd season. For more tickets and more information visit:
PRODUCTION STAFF: Jim Guarasci, Producer; Marissa Abreu, Stage Manager/Lighting and Sound Operations; Kerri Donlon, Set Designer; Jesse Onderdonk, Set Construction; Janet Fenton, Costume Design; Mike Gnazzo, Lighting Design;Genie Munro, Lobby Board.