The Crownless King

By Nathan Allen & Chris Mathewshouse theatre of chicago

Directed by Nathan Allen

Produced by The House Theatre of Chicago

At Chopin Theatre, Chicago

The magic of High Fantasy continues in Part II of the Iron Stage King Trilogy

Following their terrific Part Ihttp://chicagocritic.com/the-iron-stage-king-part-one/, Nathan Allen and Chris Mathews continue their saga of the boy king  Casper Kent (Brandon Ruiter) and his kingdom that is inspired by the legend  of King Arthur with hints of Lord of the Rings. Those who enjoyed Part I will welcome Casper,  Hap The Golden (Cliff Chamberlain), and the various ladies as they attempt to keep the land ruled by the people oriented boy king. With his magical hammer in hand, Casper unites the land but he finds out that heis ruler of all but his own story. house theatre of chicago As I stated in my review of Part I: “Utilizing all the House stylistic elements including puppets,  miniature models, strong lighting, unique costumes  with ample sprinklings of humor, this story has richly layered storytelling that explores the nature of leadership, governance with the unique American struggle to balance personal liberty with actions for the common good of society.” That tradition continues in Part II, The Crownless King who now has a wife, Bienne Boilieu (Paige Collins). house theatre of chicago In Part II, Casper fights with Davy Boone (Blake Montgomery) and dreads Irek Obsidian, the exiled black dragon (voiced by Tracy Letts). The story is a tad difficult to follow  as we have ship wrecks, sword fights with a rich blend of humor and pathos thrown in.  Hap the Golden throughout fights to maintain his hold on the royal tale. Which version of the tale will dominate?  See this fun adventure into High Fantasy to find out.

house theatre of chicago

The blend of Celtic myth, American folklore with hints of medieval myth together with the terrific use of sound, lighting with richly unique costumes on the boxed intimate staging all contribute to a fun theatrical event. The black dragon. the hammer and the attention to details here make for a enjoyable adventure that only can happen at a House Theatre of Chicago show.   The action is well-paced and thrilling, the characters empathetic and the show delivers a live fantasy. that is quite difficult to accomplish on stage. Join the fun – see this show.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

TalkTheatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2013

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout The Crownless King page at theatreinchicago.com

At the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, Chicago, IL, call 773-769-3832, www.thehousetheatre.com, tickets $20 – $40, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm, running time is 2 hours, 25 minutes with intermission, through October 20, 2013