The Winter’s Tale may be the most vexing of Shakespeare’s plays. Is it tragedy? Farce? Comedy? Sting & Honey transcends all difficulties by realizing this romance is all three. The audience cries, laughs, cries again, then sort of does both at the same time. The show is emotionally draining and utterly exquisite.
Director Javen Tanner (storming the stage as Leontes) also designed the minimal yet devastatingly effective set. Costumer Tara Tanner brilliantly employs a simple system of color combinations to denote times, places and ranks. Altogether, the Tanners’ innovative visual approach goes together in a way that sheds light on the classic text, yet allows its time-honored meaning to shine through.
Deena Marie Manzanares’ performance of Hermione’s monologue was heartbreaking; I always thought of Manzanares as a fabulously attractive comedic actress, but she’s capable of tremendous pathos as well. Kathryn Atwood (Paulina/Time), Bijan Hosseini (Polixenes) and Roger Dunbar (Antigonus/Autolycus) are also standouts.
If there can be any valid criticism of this production, it’s simply about timing: The ideal scheduling for any production of The Winter’s Tale obviously is any time from late December through mid-February. Yet the Black Box Theatre at the Rose is so fully booked year-round that we’re lucky The Sting & Honey got in at all. (Brandon Burt)
Date: Sep 26, 2012
Address: 138 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Rose Wagner Center