Friday, August 10, 2012
Friday Night on the Upper West Side: Hudson Warehouse presents "Richard III" at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Riverside Park
Hudson Warehouse's production of The Rover, so we made certain to be at opening night for the company's spectacular debut of a stirring, bloody Richard III, directed by Nicholas Martin-Smith, whose coherent, seamless melding of character and action give the complex historical drama a stunning depth of meaning.Vince Phillip, so good as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, here gives a controlled, subtle and chilling performance as Richard III. It's interesting to see his Katherine from Shrew, Amanda Renee Baker, interact with him here as Lady Anne; the scene where Richard, ahem, woos her over her late husband's corpse is usually a highlight of this play, and it's done with style, wit and pathos in this production. Summer in New York, in which this diary entry appears:
Thursday, August 9, 199010 PM. Yesterday at 5:30 PM, I decided to walk over to Central Park and see if I could get tickets for Richard III. As it turned out, I could have arrived just before the show, but I didn’t mind waiting; instead of standing at the end of the line, I just sat on a bench finishing the Times and got up when they started giving out tickets.I walked back home via Central Park West and 85th Street, and after a quick dinner, I returned, walking just as briskly.Shakespeare in the Park is always a treat, but after seeing Denzel Washington in Mo’ Better Blues and now Richard III, I think he’s an overrated actor. He played Richard in a very traditional way – a hunchback, limp and all – and though the play’s performances were good (especially Mary Alice as old Queen Margaret), the staging wasn’t that interesting.I liked the battle scenes, and of course, Richard’s seduction of Lady Anne over her father-in-law’s coffin, but my remembered knowledge of the War of the Roses is sketchy enough so that it took me too long to catch onto the dynastic maneuverings.