FresnoBeehive.com

Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Your reaction to opening weekend of ‘Richard III’

Richard_III.JPG

I am on vacation for a few blissful days, which means I didn’t get a chance this week to see a couple of theater openings: “Lost in Yonkers” at the 2nd Space Theatre, and of course “Richard III” at Woodward Park, which I wrote about in today’s Life section. I plan to see both when I return at the end of next week and post reviews accordingly.

In the meantime, I’m especially interested in opening-weekend reaction to “Richard III,” especially because of the strong opinions that were expressed on the blog after my review of “As You Like It.” What did you think?

Responses to "Your reaction to opening weekend of ‘Richard III’"

JB says:

I thought Richard III was excellent. The actors were so good, especially Richard, Buckingham and Lady Anne. The two princes were just adorable. If there was any negative, it was the fact that the ladies who played male roles, acted like women. I was confused and was often distracted by my own thoughts wondering if they are supposed to be men or women, because of the sexual inuendos.It took me away from the dialogue. Perhaps it would have been better to just have them dress as men and forgo the sexual innuendo. It wasn’t necessary, Richard did an excellent job being a nasty enough villain. Other than this, it was one of the best WSF productions that I have seen.

James Treeman says:

I was at opening night and had the opposite reaction to JB. I thought it was very poorly produced. Richard is a hard role, but the actor was totally one note and gave me no places to understand why he did what he did or empathize in any way. Most of the other actors spoke the verse the best the could but never really connected to the material. At least not from my point of view. I agree the cross casting was confusing.

blake says:

I thought Richard III was a very powerful performance. (I saw Saturday’s show.)

I too thought Jaguar Bennet’s portrayal of the lead very strong–coniving, strong, and then all bent over and manic at the end. Lady Buckingham was also exteremely strong—-and the mother of Richard (don’t remember her character’s name).

quibbles:
1)the double casting of the one young prince and wife/queen of Richard was distracting to me. The young lady did a terrific job in both parts and played each part with convincing body language etc.–but she was a very distinctive-looking young woman—so one very much noticed….’oh now, she’s the young prince’.

2) Why did Richard stab Terrel (sp?) at the end?
It was explained to me after the play, but I couldn’t tell from watching the show. (but, maybe I’m a bit thick.)

big fat kudos:
The sound system! YEAH! I could hear everything clearly—-the shows I’d seen at the other venue in the park were either not amplified or not amplified sufficiently—-let’s face it, for many of us the language is challenging enough; if you add to that a problem in *hearing* it, it becomes difficult indeed. So thank you! and good job!
The costuming—cool and sumptious!
The actors—a lot of very good players!
The speaches—dang, how can those folks memorize all that stuff?!?!

THANK YOU WWS for another cool show and for adding all you do to our community!

[and a shout out to Whitie's Pets---do they sponsor EVERYthing in this town???]

blake says:

woops, I saw *Friday’s* show.

soddruntlestuntle says:

Also saw the Friday performance, and came away very pleased with what I saw, especially with Jaguar Bennett as Richard– had no idea he had that performance in him! The actress portraying Lord Buckingham was quite good as well.

Don’t agree with my Dear Friend Blake regarding the sound however (maybe my hearing is going bad before him?), I had to strain to hear the actors on many occasions. And what was with several of the actors delivering their lines with their backs to the audience? I thought that was a no-no for thespians… didn’t mind the gender-bending of the cast, but if you’re going to cast and dress women as men, shouldn’t you try hiding their, *ahem*, ‘attributes’ a little better?

WSF fan says:

I just wanted to say that I think Richard III was a fantastic production.
About the three murderesses: They did not bother me because isn’t it obvious they are supposed to be girls?! They act like girls, look like girls, talk like girls, and dress like….well, murderers!

And the two princes were adorable! I loved them!

Lila Reed says:

Blake, If I’m not mistaken you meant the prince and the prince’s sister Princess Elizabeth who joins with Richmond in the end. If not you should take a look in your program, Lady Anne and the young Prince (the Duke of York) are two different, however similar looking actresses with nearly 10 years between them.

Bruce says:

I saw Richard and i thought it was a better production than As You Like It, but still not amazing by any means. It was a fine show with a good cast and worth seeing, especially if you find a cool summer night to go on. I also saw Lost in Yonkers, which was a great show, a talented cast with many strong performances. If I had to choose, I would see Lost in Yonkers, but of course I didn’t, which was nice.