Theater: "King Charles III" Goes Back To The Future

KING CHARLES III *** 1/2 out of ****

The play's the thing and what a thing, to play
With royals of today that we all know.
Not dim, rememb'red names of long ago
But Charles, Camilla, Will'am and Kate,
Unhappy Harry bemoaning his fate.
A spare -- no heir -- should be devil-may care.
But fame's a bore with no burden to share,
As dad can say. Who else can weigh the way
A role -- sans play -- may cut the soul away?

For Chuck did wait and wait without abate.
Not for his mom to die. (Who would? Who could?)
But for a chance to do some kingly good.
And now at last the sad and happy day
Is here in bleak and wonderful array.
The queen is dead, as Morrissey once said,
And now, it's true, the King is glad and blue.

Yet here's a chance to leave his stamp anew!
(And not just stamp his face on pape and glue.)
A bill awaits, that nibbles at the press.
And all it lacks is Chuck's pro forma yes.
He hates the press; they press and press, I guess.
But cut their rights and leave them less and less?
Chuck lifts the pen and then he puts it down.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
He makes them wait (a moment he did earn).
The nation holds its breath and cities burn.

And that's the plot as Bartlett depicts it,
In meter five and rhythm iambic.
Oh, yes, he writes as Bill S. did way back
(A talent he has and I sorely lack).
And Piggott-Smith, Tim (a talented thing)
Gives grace and pain to one almost crowned king.

I wish that Jess, the girl that woos Harry,
Had more to say or do to convince me
That she was more than just someone's fancy.
Some smarts, some soul, some spark that would show off
That Jess was more than merely not some toff.
Though don't blame Steen, she's good and quite blameless
(The cast in all is good, though here nameless).

Tom Scutt does well with his classical set.
And Pook has tunes that Glass would ne'er regret.
While Goold does good in helming this new play
The end drags on, though ain't that just Will's way?
It's smart and sad and fun barely legal:
A history play whose future is regal.


Honeymoon In Vegas **
The Woodsman ***
Constellations ** 1/2
Taylor Mac's A 24 Decade History Of Popular Music 1930s-1950s ** 1/2
Let The Right One In **
Da no rating
A Month In The Country ** 1/2
Parade in Concert at Lincoln Center ** 1/2
Hamilton at the Public ***
The World Of Extreme Happiness ** 1/2
Broadway By The Year 1915-1940 **
Verite * 1/2
Fabulous! *
The Mystery Of Love & Sex **
An Octoroon at Polonsky Shakespeare Center *** 1/2
Fish In The Dark *
The Audience ***
Josephine And I ***
Posterity * 1/2
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame **
Lonesome Traveler **
On The Twentieth Century ***
Radio City Music Hall's New York Spring Spectacular ** 1/2
The Heidi Chronicles *
The Tallest Tree In The Forest * 1/2
Broadway By The Year: 1941-1965 ***
Twelfth Night by Bedlam ***
What You Will by Bedlam *** 1/2
Wolf Hall Parts I and II ** 1/2
Skylight ***
Nellie McKay at 54 Below ***
Ludic Proxy ** 1/2
It Shoulda Been You **
Finding Neverland ** 1/2
Hamlet w Peter Sarsgaard at CSC no stars
The King And I ***
Marilyn Maye -- Her Way: A Tribute To Frank Sinatra at 54 Below ***
Gigi * 1/2
An American In Paris ** 1/2
Doctor Zhivago no stars
Fun Home **
Living On Love * 1/2
Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation ***
Airline Highway * 1/2
The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Fiasco Theatre) ***
The Visit (w Chita Rivera) ** 1/2
The Sound And The Fury (ERS) **
Broadway By The Year: 1966-1990 ***
The Spoils * 1/2
Ever After (at Papermill) **
Heisenberg *** 1/2
An Act Of God **
The National High School Musical Theatre Awards ***
Amazing Grace *
The Absolute Brightness Of Leonard Pelkey ** 1/2
Cymbeline (Shakespeare in the Park w Rabe and Linklater) ***
Hamilton *** 1/2
The Christians ***
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Pearl Theatre Company) ** 1/2
Spring Awakening (w Deaf Theatre West) *** 1/2
Daddy Long Legs **
Reread Another **
Fool For Love (w Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell) ** 1/2
Barbecue (at Public) **
Old Times (w Clive Owen) **
The Bandstand ***
The Gin Game **
Rothschild & Sons ** 1/2
The Inn At Lake Devine **
First Daughter Suite ** 1/2
The Humans *** 1/2
Sylvia **
Dames At Sea ** 1/2
Ripcord **
Hir **
Thérèse Raquin *
King Charles III *** 1/2

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover's best friend. Trying to decide what to read next? Head to BookFilter! Need a smart and easy gift? Head to BookFilter? Wondering what new titles came out this week in your favorite categories, like cookbooks and mystery and more? Head to BookFilter! It's a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It's like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide -- but every week in every category. He's also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It's available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free tickets to shows with the understanding that he will be writing a review. All productions are in New York City unless otherwise indicated.