The Lion in Winter: Opening Friday Night at Brazosport Center Stages

Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine give us their family dysfunction with such a combination of loving and loathing, tenderness and violence, and whiplashing from one to the other so adeptly that they become fearful to the extreme. Fearful to each other, to the lands they contest to rule, and to us in the audience.

Why should they frighten the audience, you ask? Well, maybe it’s just me but I kept seeing King Donald and Melania of Slovenia on the stage with the kids and dad’s chief paramour, all contending for a slice of the pie.

Well, set that aside and stay focused on the Twelfth Century. Just relax and enjoy family dysfunction as entertainment. This play, this director (Judi James) and this cast deliver.

For example, here’s an argument at the dinner table.

Arguing at the dinner table. The kids at play in Henry and Eleanor’s dysfunctional family.

Much of it has to do with the complicated relationships involving Pop and the lady they picked when she was younger (a lot younger) to be married to one of the sons.

Maybe the coolest head on the stage, Dad’s not-so-secret girlfriend, Alais, played by Lisa Chapa.

And if you thought Mama was taking her incarceration lightly (her loving hubby’s doing), she will remind you that she carries a switchblade.

But believe me, this is serious drama and the cast is fantastic. If you are a BCS follower and fan, you will know Susan Moss (Mummy, aka Eleanor of Aquitaine), Devon Smith (Pops, aka Henry II), Craig Fritz (as one of the conniving sons), Lisa Chapa (as Alais), and lots of new ones. And the newbies are very good.

If you enjoyed the photographs, thank the lighting designer. (I’m not sure who that is, but I think one of the actors may have been involved. I’m guessing Lisa Chapa.) Also the costumers, set designers, builders, and all the people it takes to put on a production of this quality. Thank them all. They have done a superb job under the most difficult mid-pandemic conditions.

It opens Friday in the Freeport LNG Theater in the Brazosport Center for the Arts and Sciences. But only about a quarter of the seats are being sold to reduce the risk of spreading Covid. They won’t tell you this, but I don’t care what the guvner won’t allow, I’m gonna tell you anyhow: Wear a mask, dammit.

Make your reservations here. See more rehearsal photographs here.

Author: Lake Jackson Citizen

I volunteer as a photographer for our local community theater. I have opinions about politics and believe it should be every American's duty to become informed and participate in the discussion of issues. I began this blog to be able to stay in touch in ways I used to on Facebook. I deleted that account recently and hope to be able to share photographs and information relating to cultural and political events in our community. I am retired after a career in social work and post-secondary‚Äč education.

10 thoughts on “The Lion in Winter: Opening Friday Night at Brazosport Center Stages”

    1. Carol, I was driving back into the old neighborhood after one of my frequent trips to Angleton the other day. I passed your house and I thought of you and Bob. I missed you so much. Then I wondered if the new owners ever mastered the art transcending those stairs with extra half inch T. C. Selman left on one of the steps. They were pretty tricky to navigate but T. C. built a beautiful house. It was so much nicer when there were Bohleys in it. And the parties were spectacular. We always wore masks, at least to the Halloween parties. Tell Bob I said hello.


  1. The new owners have made wonderful changes to the house to update it. send us regular photos and even visited us at the Cabin! But it was and is a special house still filled with love and laughter. But so glad we don’t have to tend to ti any more. I was wondering about you yesterday, how you are feeling, and the blog showed up. all the best to Cheryl


    1. We are both well. All five grandchildren and their parents were here between Christmas and New Years. That was more love and laughter than our house could contain. Thus, we got a little help from the local hotels for the parents. The kids stayed here and partied with Grandpa.Everyone is well and happy to see 2022 from the vertical.


      1. We had the same here-all 5 grands and their parents between the Big Days. With help from Amanda’s, some were at her house and some her but all here for meals and fun. Smaller house and yard holds just as much love and laughter.


  2. I just remembered that I attended a production of LION IN WINTER in the old (original?)
    Little Theatre building way back in the 70s. Was Dede playing Eleanor in that one?

    BTW – how was the writing class?


    1. Steve, Dede may have played Alais in that one. She was in it as Eleanor in one they did in the new building some time in the 80s or 90s. It was after we arrived in LJ in 1982. Denis James was Henry.

      Writing class is going well. Amy had him for English as a freshman at Brazoswood and she is among his many student admirers. He mentioned that class the other day. Apparently the freshman English is not the primo pick for English teachers. But he performed gallantly according to Amy.


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