“The Lion in Winter” Roars at The Playhouse

“The Lion in Winter” Roars at The Playhouse this September

Winter is coming this September, but it won’t be upon the iron throne, and it won’t premiere on HBO. Instead, The Playhouse at McConnellstown will crown its fall production of “The Lion in Winter” king on September 16th at 8:00 p.m.

Written by James Goldman, this classic 1966 play tells the story King Henry II of England and his three sons by his estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. He wants the kingdom to stay united after his death, but all three sons want to rule, and it is likely to be torn apart by revolution.

Henry favors the youngest, John, while Eleanor favors the eldest, Richard. Middle son Geoffrey hopes to play both ends against each other and come out on top. Henry would like to have another heir by his mistress Alais, but that would only add to the confusion.

When he invites Eleanor to his Christmas court in 1183, he finds that he and his wife still feel some passion for each other in that emotional place where passion encompasses both love and hate. Uneasy is the head on which the crown lies, and uneasy the truce between a matchless king and queen. This play was the basis of the Oscar-winning film, which starred Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn.

Patrick Rice is King Henry II, and Eleanor of Aquitaine is Jeanne Nagurny. The three sons, Richard, Geoffrey, and John are Dan Weston, Clay Glenny, and Ian Steward. This is Steward’s first production with The Playhouse. King Philip of France is Andrew Schall, and Alais is Jennifer Powell.

“This is one of my favorite scripts of all time,” says director Keith Sutton. “I directed this show when we did it in the early 1990s, and I’m enjoying it just as much the second time. This show has it all– the beautiful language, the situations, the drama, and the comedy.”

Molly Weaverling is the stage manager. Costumes are by Jeanne Nagurny. The set design is by Don Dietz with sound design by Rick Brown. Lighting is designed by Keith Sutton with technical assistance by Barbara Hughes. This production contains adult themes and situations, and may not be suitable for younger audience members.

“The Lion in Winter” will continue on September 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 at 8:00 p.m. Sunday matinee showings are September 18 and 25 at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for regular admission, $10 for seniors (age 60 and older) and students (age 6 and older). For reservations call 814-627.0311. The Playhouse is located at 11680 Raystown Rd, Huntingdon, PA, five miles South of Huntingdon Borough on Rt. 26 in the Village of McConnellstown. For more information, please check the website at www.littletheater.com, like us on Facebook (The Playhouse at McConnellstown), or follow us on Twitter @LittleTheater.