Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review - "A Man for All Seasons" - Majestic Theater

“A Man for All Seasons” by Robert Bolt, currently playing at the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, Massachusetts, is a strong production with flawless acting, and an obvious appreciation for Bolt’s rich and thought provoking script.

Robert Lunde is magnificent as Sir Thomas More, the witty pragmatist with a conscience whose passive defiance of King Henry VIII shook a nation. When the King decides to divorce Catherine of Aragon in his quest for a male heir by yet another prospective queen, Anne Boleyn, and splits with the Roman Catholic Church declaring himself to be the supreme head of the new Church of England and grant his own divorce, Sir Thomas must weigh the politics of self preservation versus the demands of his own beliefs.

The play is rife with sycophants and opportunists, political machinations and religious schisms, and is as relevant to modern society as if it were written yesterday, about today.

Steve Henderson is commanding as the troubled Duke of Norfolk, friend of Sir Thomas who inevitably finds himself on opposite sides. Sam Rush plays a sinister Thomas Cromwell, royal political hit man. His unrelenting vindictiveness, even more than the King’s selfish pleasure, is the main threat to Sir Thomas.

Daniel Rios is memorable in several roles, often humorous, as The Common Man, who finds himself a servant, a jailer, a jury foreman, a boatman, and other “every man” identities through which he can speak directly to the audience as their representative in this remarkable period of history.

Also strong in their roles are Katrina Ferguson as Lady Alice, wife of Sir Thomas, and Keith Bailey, as Master Richard Rich, the most proficient opportunist in the bunch.

The multi-level set designed by Greg Trochlil is evocative of several settings, from great hall to court room, to tavern, to jail. The costumes, designed by Elaine Bergeron, are elegant and detailed to the period and station in life of the characters.

Producing Director Danny Eaton is to be congratulated on this excellent production of this important play.

“A Man for All Seasons” runs at the Majestic through April 3rd.

For more on “A Man for All Seasons” and the Majestic Theater, have a look at this website.

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