Thursday, July 09, 2009

Mary Stuart

Attend—through August 16!

Are you, by any chance, prejudiced against plays about British royalty? Are you afraid they'll be stuffy and stodgy? I know I am!

And that means that I'm often pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy plays about British royalty. I mean, the reality is that "stuffy" and "stodgy" aren't usually the kind of adjectives playwrights, directors, and producers want to see in reviews. And that certainly seems to be the case of the revival of Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart currently running on Broadway.

This fact-based story of political intrigue between Mary Stuart and Elizabeth I—cousins with competing claims to the British throne—remains one of history's most fertile and fascinating episodes, retold again and again over the centuries. For this Broadway production, director Phylidda Lloyd and her company (featuring Janet McTeer as Mary and Harriet Walter as Elizabeth) keep things moving at a fast clip right from the start. It took some getting used to, but after about 15 minutes I was won over and caught up in all the plots and schemes. This made for about two very stimulating hours of theater sandwiched between the build-up and the denouement.

Discounts to this excellent production (which almost makes me forgive Phylidda Lloyd for the movie Mamma Mia!) should be available through sources such as,, and TKTS.

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