When Henry Met Henry

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has staged comedies and tragedies in equal measure in Forest Park for the past decade. This year the group takes an ambitious tack, choosing not one but two of Shakespeare's histories. Did we say ambitious? We meant Olympic. Henry IV and Henry V are on the bill, and they tell nothing less than the development of a boy becoming a man and the man becoming a king. The younger Henry is known as Hal when we first meet him in Henry IV, and he's something of a rake. He pals around with heavyweight carouser Falstaff, who practices casual brigandage when short of funds -- and the big man is always short of funds. The older Henry is Hal's father, and he's about to pit the future of his newly won kingdom on the successful quelling of a baronial revolt, but the old man is riven by doubt about the nature of his boy. When will his son take life seriously? Hal needs a push, but he gets there in the end. And then in Henry V, Hal shows proves his mettle with an invasion of France -- but that's next week. Henry IV is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (May 15 through 17), while Henry V is at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (May 22 through 24). The two shows alternate nightly through Sunday, June 15, but there are no performances on Tuesday. It all goes down in Shakespeare Glen, just off Art Hill in Forest Park. Call 314-531-9800 or visit www.sfstl.com for more information.
May 15-17, 8 p.m.; Wed., May 28, 8 p.m.; Fri., May 30, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 1, 8 p.m.; Wed., June 4, 8 p.m.; Fri., June 6, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 7, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 8, 8 p.m.; Wed., June 11, 8 p.m.; Fri., June 13, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 14, 8 p.m., 2014

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