The Winter's Tale
directed by tracey young
Ten Thousand Things strips down a Shakespearean monster
With his manicured facial hair and distressed leather crown, Steve Hendrickson's Leontes exudes hot, renegade royalty. In Ten Thousand Things' The Winter's Tale, he plays the king of Sicilia with convincing, reckless egoism. He locks up his wife, banishes his best friend, and abandons his newborn daughter with nary a bat of the eye. What's more, he looks like a king. Hendrickson doesn't look like [George W.] Bush, per se, but his uncompromising cockiness recalls the president, though Hendrickson is sexy and well-spoken as he struts across the stage to mark his poetic decrees.
'Tale' is intimate and human
...Guest director Tracy Young and the company take full advantage of that intimacy. Steve Hendrickson, playing the jealous monarch Leontes, treats audience members as if they are part of the court. He confides to them in sotto voce asides and knowing glares as he offers a deeply personal portrait of a flawed king who allows himself to be overrun by his own passions. You can almost hear the titanic emotions cracking within, rending him apart.
In a cagey bit of double casting, Young, who stages this 16-character play with just six actors, also uses Hendrickson in the comedy-relief role of a shepherd. The difference in energy and emotion between the two characters is complete, and Hendrickson's shift from royal to rustic is amazing.
This 'Winter's Tale' dazzles, even in spring
...Shakespeare centers his story on Leontes, king of Sicilia. A proud, abrupt man, he needs little provocation to accuse his wife, Hermione, of adultery with his childhood friend, the King of Bohemia. Steve Hendrickson beautifully develops Leontes in these early scenes. With a vacant glance, a stare, a slight grimace or a slouch, Hendrickson rolls out Leontes' slow burn. He spins himself to an insanity built on self-deluded confidence, challenging his courtiers to accuse him of jealous caprice.