Saturday, September 25, 2004

Rose Rage

However you slice it, it's a red 'Rose'

The knives are always out in "Henry VI," Shakespeare's early and seldom-staged three- play history cycle about the late-medieval carnage known as the Wars of the Roses. So we expect knives, not to mention hours - many, many hours - of bloody battles over distant, convoluted genealogy.

And, indeed, there are plenty of big knives in "Rose Rage," the condensed and defiantly entertaining, epic yet intimately human, all-male adaptation that introduced the gutsy Chicago Shakespeare Theater to New York at the Duke on 42nd Street. Oh, and there are also meat cleavers, hatchets, rusty meat hooks, huge metal clubs and what appear to be massive basting forks.

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