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Cast controls Shakespeare chaos


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POSTED: Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A talented cast, colorful stick puppets and imaginative direction by R. Kevin Garcia Doyle make the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival's production of “;Pericles”; an unexpected delight. This is one of the plays Shakespeare wrote with a collaborator, but that doesn't matter a bit once Doyle's cast gets past the first chaotic scene.

Prince Pericles of Tyre is in a no-win situation after he accepts the challenge of solving a riddle posed by powerful King Antiochus and realizes that the correct answer is that Antiochus has an incestuous relationship with his daughter. Pericles buys himself some time to give his answer, leaves a trusted friend as his regent in Tyre and takes off for parts unknown. Shipwrecks, tournaments, good deeds, foul treachery and miraculous escapes ensue.

Eden-Lee Murray (Gower) provides a solid foundation with her commanding performance as the narrator/stage manager of the story. Gower summons and dismisses characters, freezes the action at key moments, sometimes gives orders to the audience and—as played by Murray—is essential to the production's success.

Doyle uses colorful stick puppets and transparent, poster-size maps to suggest the scope of Pericles' travels and the magnitude of his adventures fighting pirates and vanquishing knights. The puppeteer/stagehands add contemporary comic impact; Jordan Matayoshi stops to admire her “;reflection”; while removing a mirror in one scene, and ad-libbed puppet dialogue embellishes that action in many others.

               

     

 

'PERICLES'

        » Where: The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave.
       

» When: 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday

       

» Cost: $10 to $20

       

» Info: (800) 838-3006 or www.HawaiiShakes.org

       

The actor known as Q is tremendous in the title role. He surmounts the challenges of Shakespearean dialogue in convincing style and demonstrates superior physical abilities in a dance number choreographed by Jonathan “;iNTREPiD”; Sypert.

Julia Nakamura is first seen oozing lust as King Antiochus' daughter/wife. She returns in the major role of Pericles' daughter, Marina, a young woman so imbued with virtue that when she is captured by prostitutes and sold to a pimp, all of her would-be “;clients”; forswear fornication instead!

Daniel James Kunkel is seen first as noble King Simonides and later as the pimp. Kunkel's scenes with Andy Valencia (Bawd) and Danny Randerson (Doorman)—in which the pimp and his underlings are confounded by Marina's untouchable virtue—are some of the funniest in the show.

In contrast, Nicholas Atiburcio (Lysimachus) is the key in a pivotal dramatic scene as a nobleman who intends to buy Marina's virginity but on meeting her forswears fornication and arranges to free her from the pimp.