Wittenberg (review)

Wittenberg (review)
Wittenberg (review)
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THE PLAY: Prince Hamlet is attending university in the titular German town, where 2 of his profs are the fictitious Dr. Faustus & the real Martin Luther. This version of their origin stories includes heady, wordy debates about religion and philosophy with lots of amusing contemporary wordplay and Shakespeare references.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Any show that requires 2 pages of dramaturgy in the program is bound to be academically complicated. Luckily, this cast handles the material with dynamic assurance. At the center is Jeffrey Cole (Faustus), who’s energy and poise brilliantly commands every moment he’s on stage (his songs are great fun). Dixon Cashwell (Hamlet) is a delightfully wimpy comic invention and Andrew Hamm (Luther) adds passion and anger with conviction. Stacie Rearden Hall effectively creates several female roles. Director J Paul Nicholas has kept the staging lively to help accommodate for the overly-talky script (especially that interminable tavern scene in Act 1). Tennessee Dixon’s set is a creative use of that small stage, Jocelyn Bowman’s costumes are attractive and BJ Wilkinson has relied on strong side-lighting to add depth.

 

THE POINT: While this cast is simply brilliant, this play’s heady, talky wordplay sometimes takes its toll.

 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

A Henley Street & Richmond Shakespeare production at Richmond Triangle Players thru 4/19.

 

 Watch the SIFTER video interview with the director.

 

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