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.
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.
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.