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 Ihttps://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. 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). 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.
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.
TalkTheatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: September 8, 2013
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