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  The Lion in Winter at The Side Project

The Lion in Winter

The Side Project
1439 W. Jarvis Ave Chicago

Idle Muse presents The Lion in Winter, by James Goldman, the story of a legendary King and an incomparable Queen meeting for one last Winter Court – and a battle that will determine the future of an empire. As the sun sets on his reign, Henry Plantagenet, “the greatest power in a thousand years,” calls his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their three sons to Chinon for the negotiation of a treaty and a marriage contract. Locked behind the palace doors, a deadly game of alliances and betrayals unfolds as each of the players, fueled by anger and old wounds, moves to control who will sit on throne when Henry is gone. The Lion in Winter will deliver a fresh, Idle Muse interpretation of the classic costume drama, which asks: How far have we come? And will it ever be far enough?

Presented by Idle Muse

Thru - Sep 11, 2011

Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 8:00pm
Sundays: 3:00pm

Price: $10-$20

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 800-838-3006

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

  The Lion in Winter Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...In Evan Jackson's storefront staging for Idle Muse Theatre Company, Dave Skvarla has the gravitas and vocal range to make the aging Henry credible. But Elizabeth MacDougald is simply out of her depth in the complex, hugely demanding role of manipulative, imperious, yet vulnerable 60-something Eleanor."
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Albert Williams

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Indeed, the entire cast takes welcome advantage of their close quarters in the Side Project to render us privy to their personae's subtextual machinations—not through the actorly twitches usually associated with costume drama, but integrated into the power struggles with a vigor and immediacy exemplified by the visual metaphor of David Skvarla's ursine Henry surrounded by would-be usurpers like a bear baited by dogs. Save your NetFlix for the upcoming snowbound evenings and indulge yourself in these late-summer days to the pleasures of a familiar classic made new."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Centerstage - Recommended

"...The Side Project is one of Chicago’s more modest storefronts, bringing to mind Shakespeare’s lament about an unworthy scaffold being unable to contain the fields of Agincourt. As a result, we get some awkward and claustrophobic staging. The play calls for a lot of dramatic exits that…aren’t dramatic. Still, a brilliant script is brought to life with spirit here."

Rory Leahy

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...As the feuding Plantagenets, the cast conveys the appropriate zest for blood sport—except, perhaps, Elizabeth MacDougald, whose Eleanor is wooden until after intermission, when the actor seems to think she’s playing Medea. She has the play’s best part, but this time King Henry steals the show, thanks to the savage glee and shameless lechery Dave Skvarla brings to the role."
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Zac Thompson

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...You’d be hard pressed to find a more articulate production filled with deep-seeded emotions and long-fuming resentment with powerful charismatic turns fuels Idle Muse Theatre’s expert production of Goldman’s gem. You’ll be easily engaged and totally intrigued by these flawed yet human characters as they struggle for power and personal recognition. Kudos to the cast for offering such fine performances. See this play to experience the craftsmanship of Chicago storefront theatre."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"...Everyone has their own breed of family issues; whether it’s fighting of the crown of England or the last slice of pizza, bottom line all families have problems.  I recommend putting yours to the side for a moment and witnessing Idle Muse’s marvelous production of “The Lion in Winter”.  Meaning if you’re looking for a play with a dynamic ensemble and chilling story line, please look no further."

Tyler Tidmore

  The Lion in Winter Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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