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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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The New American Shakespeare Tavern3
Average Rating Given : 5.00000
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

Doctor Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe
Ralston and Cole Extraordinary
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
5.0
Jeff Watkins’ new adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus is currently playing at the Shakespeare Tavern, and anyone interested in psychological drama, classic theater, or just really good acting needs to get there to see it. Maurice Ralston as Faustus and Laura Cole as Mephistopheles were both extraordinary. Their attention to period detail and characterization were incredible, but their virtuoso performances were even better.
In this version Watkins’ has removed some of the parts of the drama as it has come down in written form to bring it closer to what he perceives as the original intent. The result is to focus on the psychology of Maurice Ralston’s character who will not seek redemption. Is it pride, fear, or demonic power that stops him? Ralston never tells us, but keeps us guessing as he runs the gamut of Faust’s emotions. As for Laura Cole – if she did nothing other than her portrayal of the seven deadly sins, it would be enough for a whole play, but she did much, much more that. Her, or Mephistopheles’ manipulation of Faust was truly terrifying as she turned him inside out and made him work against his own best interest. It was great theater.

Henry VI parts 1, 2, 3, by William Shakespeare
Henry 6.2 and Henry 6.3 are even better than Part One!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
5.0
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s three-part Henry VI is an amazing piece of work. Not just the plays themselves, which are extraordinary, but the passionate performances of the entire cast – particularly Laura Cole, Maurice Ralston, Drew Reeves, and Doug Kaye among many others – make the experience of this massive cycle something to see, to hear, and to feel. Jeff Watkins and his merry persons have created a don’t miss this event.

Henry VI parts 1, 2, 3, by William Shakespeare
Do not miss the Shakespeare Tavern’s Henry VI series
Monday, November 10, 2008
5.0
There was a time when we thought Shakespeare’s history plays were about as comprehensible as Russian opera. The reason for our changed viewpoint is the wonderful work of the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, which hangs out at the Tavern on Peachtree Street across from Crawford Long. They are engaged in producing all three plays about King Henry VI of England between now and the end of the month.

They have the unusual idea that the words that Shakespeare wrote are perfectly easy to understand if you say them with great care and incredible diction. What happens is that people who might avoid Shakespeare love to hear it when they can actually hear it.

Then there’s seeing it. The Henry plays are violent enough to be movies, and the Tavern folks carry out the sword slinging, punching, and kicking with gusto and athleticism. The two Ralstons, Maurice as Richard Plantagenet and Mary Ruth as Joan of Arc, combined swordplay and tumbling in one of the best fight scenes you could hope for without Hollywood-style FX. The only thing they didn’t do was tip-toe through the treetops. Drew Reeves is the fight director, and his skills include authenticity, extraordinary gymnastic ability, and passionate dedication to his character. The entire cast was phenomenal about keeping a very complicated story clear and moving the action forward with barely a pause.

The swords are real, the armor looks doggone real, the costumes are beautiful, the food is good, and there’s beer. The people who do the work onstage and backstage are in it for love – definitely not for the money. Jeff Watkins is not only the director of these plays, but the artistic director who gives you a great product worth far more than the ticket price. If you miss the Henry VI plays – and you shouldn’t – get there for Christmas Carol in December.

OPENING SOON
Billy Goats Gruff
by Davies
Capitol City Opera Company
CLOSING SOON
Billy Goats Gruff
by Davies
Capitol City Opera Company
Man of La Mancha
by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion, and Mitch Leigh
Capitol City Opera Company
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