Meadowinds Castle may not be 800 years old, but theater-lovers will feel like it is when they make the trek out to the rustic venue for the Idaho Repertory Theater’s one-night fundraiser production of “The Lion in Winter.”
The curtains rise on Christmas Eve, 1183, where an aging King Henry II and his imprisoned Queen Eleanor have very different ideas on which of their three sons will succeed to the throne. Meanwhile, the three princes — Richard, the oldest and most capable; John, the youngest and his father’s choice, and Geoffrey, unappreciated and clever — have ideas of their own.
The story is a familiar one. The play was adapted from James Goldman’s 1966 masterpiece to an Academy Award-winning film of the same name starring Peter O’Toole and Katharine Hepburn.
Recent UI graduate Cory Williamson will fill the shoes of Geoffrey — an appropriate role for him, Williamson said, since both middle sons tend to feel lost between their siblings. He thought the plot of “The Lion in Winter” was witty, and not nearly as serious as he thought it would be. Overall, he said, the audience can expect a very laid-back night.
“No one’s memorizing their lines,” Williamson said. “It’s a staged reading, so everyone will have their scripts on stage, so normally for preparation I’d have my lines all memorized, but this time the big thing is having a good stage understanding of my character and how he affects the other characters.”
Appearing alongside Williamson will be veteran actors Joe Golden as King Henry II, Nancy Lee-Painter as Queen Eleanor, and UI theater professor David Lee-Painter directs.
“I’m very excited to work with David Lee-Painter,” Williamson said. “He’s one of the best directors I’ve had the pleasure to work with.”
The IRT’s “The Lion in Winter” will be the Meadowind Castle’s debut as a performance venue. The Castle, located five miles southeast of Moscow, will offer complimentary appetizers and dessert, as well as a wine bar sponsored by the Wine Company of Moscow.
The evening will begin on the patio at 6:30 p.m. July 12, and the reading will start at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased for $65 at Bookpeople of Moscow or the Theater Arts office in Shoup Hall on the University of Idaho campus.
Hannah Shirley can be reached at email@example.com