Henry V

On a stage as sparse as a lawn in a park, the cast of nearly two dozen actors delivered all of the energy and immersion of an alfresco performance, indoors.

By Andrew Andrews

One of our favorite summer activities is catching Shakespeare in the Park—either the famous series at the Delacorte Theater or the community productions further west in Central Park or even in the outer boroughs.

But February is a long way from summer, and although we occasionally find Shakespeare’s works creatively delivered elsewhere in the colder months, it’s rare that they generate the same feeling as an outdoor production.

This winter, however, director Mary Lou Rosato’s production of Henry V at American Theatre of Actors had us telling a different tale.

With a cast of nearly two dozen actors (and producer Laris Macario in the lead role), Rosato’s team delivered all of the energy and immersion of a typical alfresco performance.

On a stage as sparse as a lawn in a park (true to the Elizabethan rendition), our performers utilized every available foot of the house to wrap the story around the audience, from the moment the chorus appears with their apology for the lack of scenery to their epilogue of remorse for the events that would follow (in Henry VI, for which Henry V was a prequel).

Clocking in at just under three hours, it’s no small feat that this talented troupe of actors was able to hold our interest, even considering the masterful script. Thanks to Macario’s obvious love of the king’s lines, the energy of his supporting cast and the director’s talent for keeping things moving, the time passed quickly and left us eager for the return of warm weather and the outdoor productions of Shakespeare that come with it.

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Andrew Andrews attended Henry V at American Theatre of Actors in Manhattan on Saturday, February 23, 2019 @ 1:00am to write this review.