Tuesday, February 14, 2017

King Charles III Theatre Review

Jeanne Paulsen & Robert Joy (r) stars in King Charles III (Photo: Kevin Berne)

A Time of Change

Who hasn't wanted to peak inside the hallowed halls of Buckingham Palace? The American Conservatory Theater's production of King Charles III (directed by David Muse) does just that, poking fun at some of its most beloved residents, while addressing the (presumably scary) prospects of a post-Elizabeth II regime. Robert Joy shines in the titular role, despite his character's numerous insecurities and shortcomings. Charles complains incessantly, lamenting his lot in life, "My life has been a lingering for the throne." When pressed into action, he acts impulsively (i.e. dissolving Parliament) but as the play moves along, he begins to settle in. Joy's come a long way from The Hills Have Eyes, and capably carries most of the production. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the rest of the cast.

202 Words or Less

Jeanne Paulsen's Camilla is dull. The kids are brasher, but relatively bland and surprisingly dim-witted. Kate (Allison Jean White) brings "a sense of fashion" to the mix (and little else) while Harry Smith steals the show (in a bad way) as an Austin Powers-like Harry, who longs for "Doritos, TV & TGI Fridays." One can only hope the real royals aren't half as incapable as they're portrayed to be. Long live the Queen.


King Charles III runs 2 hours and 40 minutes with an intermission, now through March 18 at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street, NW.) Tickets cost $44-$123, and are available for purchase online or by calling (202) 547-1122.