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Randy Moore

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Actors Randy Moore, Stephen Walters Carry Dallas Theater Center’s Enjoyable Henry IV

The Dallas Theater Center’s production of Henry IV offers some great acting, effective staging, compelling action sequences, and a generous dollop of laughter, but its real accomplishment is just how ably the two plays that make up Shakespeare’s two-part history about the rise of Henry V have been distilled into a single work. Henry IV was the most popular of Shakespeare's plays during his own lifetime, so much so that the bard wrote a sequel to the initial work. The first play culminates with Henry IV’s son Hal (the future Henry V) killing the revolutionary leader (and Hal’s peer) Hotspur in battle. The second part sees Hal rising to the throne after the death of his father, and both plays are, in part, concerned with the unorthodox education of the future king. At the play’s opening, he is a philanderer and a drunk, abandoning the royal court for the taverns of London, where he indulges in a smattering of pleasures along with other wayward sons of rich nobleman, poor louts, and loose women. This setting also provides Shakespeare with his most lovable character: Sir John Falstaff.
By Peter Simek