The discovery of King Richard's skeleton under a parking lot in Leicester reminded me that Intiman presented Richard III here in Seattle in the summer of 2006. Here's Cornichon's review of that production, titled "Hungry...for Revenge."
The best moment at Intiman's new production of Richard III this week comes before the first word is spoken: Bart Sher himself emerging from the wings, coyly holding a box that he opens to reveal a statuette: the Tony for best regional theater. Well-merited applause.
Sadly, the rest of the evening's a mess; it's one long, long winter of discontent.
In the title role, Stephen Pelinski does a creditable Ian McKellan impression, though with a disconcerting midwestern twang. The rest of the cast is unable to keep up. The House of Lancaster women fare worst, Lenne Klingaman as Lady Anne sounds like a high school student reciting lines she doesn't understand; Suzanne Bouchard as Margaret ("hungry for revenge") wielding a hysterical sword as she descends from the set's upper levels to wreak her hateful havoc.
Problem lies with Sher's concept: he overlays Shakespeare's rhythms with percussion, positioning two drum kits high atop the auditorium's scaffolding. Relentless thuds and clangs exude menace all night long. Works in operas, worked in Jaws, right? Yeah, but not for three hours straight, drowning the actors, trivializing the action and frustrating the audience. By the time Richard offers his kingdom for a horse, we're ready to surrender.