November 30, 2014

January 18, 2015

in CST's Courtyard Theater

by William Shakespeare
directed by David H. Bell

Critical Acclaim

“Actor Ben Carlson is an excellent Pericles because we care about what happens to him, what life throws in his way and how people treat him, which is the point of the play. If you’re a Shakespeare specialist type, you’ll find everything here smart and provocative and much upon which to chew. If you think of yourself as more of a regular person looking for something of meaning this season, this is the kind of show that makes you appreciative of those you love.”

“Director David H. Bell brings a Shakespearean depth to every musical he stages. He also unfailingly brings genuine musical energy to every Shakespeare play he helms. The latest example of this crossover can be found on the stage of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, where “Pericles,” one of the Bard’s less frequently produced ‘romances’ (‘episodic adventure story’ might be more accurate), is now receiving an elaborate production.”

Stage and Cinema
“A highly entertaining and fantastical odyssey through ancient Mediterranean lands. Carlson plays both aspects of the titular lead character—gallant knight errant and tragic hero—equally well. While the part doesn’t call for great displays of emotion, it does require intelligence and integrity, which Carlson manages to convey with aplomb. It is extraordinary and magical. ”

New City
David H. Bell’s swashbuckling production plays with the flash-and-flesh that would thrill the contemporary audience that flocks to see action-hero movies.”

Chicago Theater Beat
“Powerfully pretty in its awesome projections and tumbling or flying scenery, Pericles couldn’t offer the eyes a greater feast. Carlson brings clarity to every preposterous plight that Pericles endures, Lisa Berry makes an ardent and devoted Thaisa, and Christina Panfilio’s chirpy Marina proves there’s a divinity that protects the clueless innocence of a born ingénue.”

Chicago Theater Review
“Truly inspired… Carlson brings his usual strong stage presence to his character and his nimble way with Shakespeare’s verse. The physical production is enhanced by Jesse Klug’s lighting design, Aaron Rhyne’s projections, James Savage’s thunderous sound effects, and Henry Marsh’s symphonic original music.”

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