The Winter's Tale

Two worlds collide in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. In the case of the Guthrie's latest production, those worlds are portrayed as a Kennedy-era White House and good ol' rural Minnesota. Whatever the set dressing, the play—one of the last completed by the Bard—features a mix of tragedy and comedy, complete with mistaken identity, vengeful kings, and even a hint of star-crossed lovers. Jonathan Munby helms this production in his Guthrie debut. The director's previous work includes shows at the Royal Shakespeare Company in England and Arena Stages in Washington, D.C. Munby wanted to evoke the death and despair that lie at the center of the play's first half, and found the lost dream of Kennedy's Camelot to be a fitting one. Meanwhile, the pastoral second half, set among the sheep farmers of Bohemia, seemed to fit in well with the Minnesota aesthetic for the director. It's an approach that can work, as long as all the fiddling doesn't get in the way of the story, which includes a heady brew of betrayal, tragedy, humor, and a 16-year gap in time. The cast features longtime Guthrie vet Helen Carey, Michael Hayden, Michael Thomas Holmes, Bill McCallum, and Christine Weber. (Photo by T. Charles Erickson)
Saturdays, Sundays, 1 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Jan. 29. Continues through March 27, 2011

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