marjorie garber

Shakespeare’s ‘Winter’s Tale’: The mini-series

What if Northwest Classical Theatre Company's production lasted a LOT longer?

 

Matt Smith (Polixines), Grant Turner (Leontes), and Anne Sorce (Hermione) In Northwest Classical Theatre Company’s production of

Matt Smith (Polixines), Grant Turner (Leontes), and Anne Sorce (Hermione) In Northwest Classical Theatre Company’s production of “The Winter’s Tale”/Photo: Jason Maniccia

Northwest Classical Theatre Company is staging a solid version of “The Winter’s Tale” right now at the Shoebox Theater, which true to its name is about as intimate an environment for theater as you can find in Portland. Solid is actually high praise for productions of “A Winter’s Tale,” about as difficult a play to embrace as Shakespeare offers. I simply mean that it is well-considered by the director, John Steinkamp, and well-acted by the cast, who dive into its crazy plot (which Shakespeare lifted from Robert Greene’s “Pondosto”) with gusto and good cheer.

This version of “The Winter’s Tale” moves along swiftly, though it lasts around three hours (including intermission). The plot is that snakey. And it squeezes both court dancing and country revels onto the tiny stage, along with some clowning. Clearing up all the loose ends of the plot leads to a lengthy last act, but even that doesn’t seem too long in this production.

Before I finish, though, I’m going to argue (gulp) that three hours isn’t long enough, but first a little exposition.

Continues…

 
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