It may not be one of Shakespeare’s better-known plays, but Troilus and Cressida still packs a punch and displays his genius of capturing the context of pride, hubris, and the frailty of love.
The story is set during the Trojan War. Troilus (Alex Parker) is a Trojan noble in love with Cressida (Taylor Fisher). She returns his affection; unfortunately, their joy is cut short by a deal that sends her to the Greeks. Troilus learns the hard way of a woman’s choice to survive.
The machinations of war create more havoc internally than with the opponent. Hector (a charismatic Napoleon Tavale) represents the ideal soldier. He is brave and true. Although a great warrior, Achilles (a perfectly cast Matt Calloway) is surly and arrogant. A truce is drawn, but does not last. We all know the outcome.
Director Charles Pasternak always does a superb job with the choreography. The fighting scenes are impressive and dramatic. There is focus and intent with the cast.
Missing was some boldness, controlled recklessness. Not from the production itself, or pacing, but rather theme. As the story is not easily accessible, perhaps a modern twist or reference to a recent historical event would give it some oomph.
Although the outcome is somewhat different than the history we are familiar with, the results are identical. War devastates the both victor and conquered.
Troilus and Cressida runs
through Feb. 19 at The Whitmore Theatre located at 1106 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. It runs on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com or call (818) 325-2055. Tickets are $20; $15 for students and seniors.