Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: Glendale HomeCollections

More melancholy this 'Wither's Tale'

August 28, 2010
(Photos by Chelsea…)

Directly on the heels of the wacky "CHiPs the Musical" comes the Troubadour Theater Company's noticeably more sedate "A Wither's Tale." Almost a one-man show for founder Matt Walker, Shakespeare's romance gets a heartfelt and moving homage injected with all the expected side-splitting one-liners. It's just packaged a bit differently, significantly melancholy when compared to what we usual get from this gang of literary miscreants.

The Troubie's constantly improving mash-ups combine classic works of pop culture with specific song catalogs from music's best singers. "A Wither's Tale" marks a return to their best source material, the plays of William Shakespeare. The bard's somber saga gets fused with the tunes of Bill Withers, the soulful crooner best known for "Ain't No Sunshine" and "Lean on Me." I was actually surprised how many other chestnuts Withers has in his discography.

But like the best Troubie productions, as long as they remember "the play's the thing," all the other elements like music and satire flow super easy.

Advertisement

When I first spied the gloomy set design, I felt something extremely different was in store this time around from Walker and his cohorts. Then right before show time, he picked up a microphone backstage and started embarrassing latecomers entering the Falcon Theatre auditorium. A favorite gimmick of Walker's, these hi-jinks are noticeably absent for much of "A Wither's Tale."

"Ain't No Sunshine" just about sums up the life of jealous King Leontes (Walker) after he mistakes the relationship between his best friend Polixenes (Matt Merchant) and wife Hermione (Monica Schneider) for adultery. So consumed with paranoia over the situation, Leontes even convinces himself Hermione's newborn was fathered by Polixene. Tragedy ensues.

"A Winter's Tale" is considered one of Shakespeare's "problem" works because the dark themes in the beginning of the story give way to comedy and happy endings in the final two acts. Which is the perfect structure for the professional cabaret sheen the Troubies now bring to all their productions. Straight-faced seriousness leads to characters breaking character leads to show-stopping production number. Rinse. Repeat.

Glendale News-Press Articles Glendale News-Press Articles
|
|
|