Enjoy the Vileness 

How 'bout a summer of discontent?

Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard the Third is as much a history play as it is a tragedy. But do you need to understand the political maneuvering and historical background to enjoy the play? Maybe not. The character of Richard III is the central tragic figure. He's a villain, sure, but he's such a deliciously complicated villain. Capable of great (if insincere) flattery and able to address the audience with cutting remarks about his enemies, Richard III brings us into his grim little world. We become co-conspirators in his plot, fully aware that everybody who joins with him is destined to die at his command — evil is seductive like that, able to temporarily blind you to the incontrovertible truth. Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents The Tragedy of King Richard the Third at 8 p.m. in Forest Park Wednesday through Monday (May 21 through June 15). Admission is free; for more information call 314-531-9800 or visit www.sfstl.com.
Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 21. Continues through June 15, 2008

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