King Charles III a Resolute Failure

NB: This begins a series of theater reviews — some a day trip from D.C. in New York and others as far as Chicago. There is so much to see and do — I hope my readers get out there and enjoy!

Broadway’s Music Box Theater is a place of great fondness for me. It was the site of the first play I ever saw, plus countless others that I have loved.  Opening nights are exciting: Waiting on line, the crowd filing in, the sound of taxicabs fading to that of an orchestra as it tunes. Unfortunately, the production of King Charles III that officially opened on November 1st,  will not join those treasured memories.

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The idea of of a futuristic play about the Royal Family seemed so delightfully absurd, I couldn’t wait to see this play and was lucky enough to get in during previews. Most people adore the Royals — perhaps it’s the result of too many Disney Princess stories — but whether following their births and celebrations, or making them the butt of jokes, I think their squabbles and predicaments both fascinating  and ridiculous. They are worthy of soap opera fame, yet rarified, dignified, and interesting. With tremendous curiosity, I went to see Mike Bartlett’s Olivier-winning play.

King Charles III should abdicate before audiences rise like a revolutionary mob and demand its execution.

The characters were so insipid, they were worse than two-dimensional, cardboard figures. The actors seem chosen more for their physical similarities to their subjects rather than real talent. Charles is portrayed as a vacillating monarch, unable to shed tears at his mother’s death, who refuses to sign into law a bill he opposes — the one bright spot in the tedious plot. He is manipulated  by politicians and his wife, Camila, who is reduced to a flighty idiot, seeking the glory of his office, who scarcely listens to his misgivings.

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Kate is portrayed as a woman who oversteps her position and threatens her husband for the benefit of her children. Somehow she doesn’t know that the King is the King as soon as the previous monarch dies. She goes on and on about how he won’t be coronated for three months. Even as Americans we all know the coronation is a formalization, a ceremony, and the office of monarch never goes vacant. (Remember all those movies — the King is dead, long live the King?)

The anti-monarchist sentiment of the play is brought to the forefront as Prince Harry, portrayed as a drunken, boorish, wild-child (never mentioning him as a military officer), becomes enamored of a loud-mouthed girl. She denounces everything he is, prompting him to surrender his title. Once again raising the issue of whether or not Harry is truly Charles’ son is not only hackneyed but cruel.

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Add to this the oddest, most annoying ghost of the late Princess Diana, moaning, striking poses, and sauntering up and down the aisles for no apparent reason, and you can see how difficult it is to like even one thing about this play.

The set lacks imagination and consists of a gray stone wall that hints at the interior of a castle. Never mind that Buckingham Palace has plaster walls and gilt finishes, this set design is both boring and lazy.

I was intrigued by the notion that this would be an alternate future play where there wouldn’t be Hitlers, or robots, or scenes of mass destruction. But from the horrid acting, to the over-written dialogue that aims at Shakespearian iambic pentameter and casts poor Kate as another Lady Macbeth, this play is truly a disaster.

Besides Macbeth, there are shades of Hamlet, Henry IV and even Richard III. While anyone who would attempt such a thing would normally be roundly smacked — especially as bad as this play is — the subject matter of the play is so controversial, so popularly anti-monarchist, that critics have been swept away by ephemera instead of calling a dud a dud. The tepid applause of the audience should be the first indication that no amount of highbrow allusion can pull the wool over a New York theater audience’s eyes.

Get Wicked with Entangled Blog Hop

A fantastic contest for a fantastic book. The talented Pintip Dunn is stopping by to tell us a little bit about her debut novel, Forget Tomorrow. It’s filled with all the teen angst anyone could want while asking really probing questions about whether we can change ourselves and our futures. Take it away, Pintip!

Hello! Welcome to my stop of the Get Wicked with Entangled Blog Hop!

The thing is…I’m not really wicked. I write YA novels. I’m a mother of three kids. The most wicked I get is this:

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But when you add in the fact that I am Maleficient to my daughter’s Mal this Halloween, the wickedness factor goes down quite a bit.

But no matter. The villain in my upcoming book, FORGET TOMORROW, is wicked enough for the both of us. Chairwoman Dresden, head of the Future Memory Agency, is downright scary in her ambition and single-mindedness. She’ll do anything to achieve her goals, even if it means sacrificing the innocent.

Callie, my heroine, has enough on her plate. Will she be able to circumvent Fate AND defeat Chairwoman Dresden? We shall see . . .

In the meantime, I’d love to give away a prize to thank you for stopping…

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Mothers & Daughters Rock the Night Sky: An Interview with Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann

Fantastic interview I just have to share. The Sharon and Ellen Wray interviewing team and the Suz and Mel Brockmann writing team are both terrific!

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UnknownToday I’d like to welcome Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann, along with Ellen Wray, for a K&T first: A mother/daughter interview with the NYT best-selling mother/daughter writing team!

How did this all happen? It started with my daughter’s love of YA novels which led to the buying and borrowing of many(!) books.

That led to my reading and falling in love with the YA genre too.

Then came the announcement that my all-time favorite romance author was writing a new YA paranormal romance series with her daughter.

Once I told Ellen (an aspiring author herself) about the series, she asked, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do a mother/daughter interview with the mother/daughter writing team?”

To which I replied, “Yes!” And because Suzanne is known within the writing community for her generosity, I reached out to her and she said “Yes!” as well.

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The Night Sky series debuted last October, followed…

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