The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare & Company

Founders’ Theatre, Lenox, Mass.
July 15 – September 5, 2010

As Polixenes, with Elizabeth Aspenlieder as Hermione (PHOTO: Kevin Sprague)

Bearded in Bohemia, with Kelly Galvin as Perdita (PHOTO: Kevin Sprague)

Critical Response

“Jonathan Epstein makes an ideal King Leontes. . . . He’s nicely matched by the calmly magisterial presence of Johnny Lee Davenport as King Polixenes, a lifelong friend and ally whose innocent chumminess with Leontes’ consort, Hermione (Elizabeth Aspenleider), sets off a tragic chain of events.”
—Sandy MacDonald, Theatre News Online: New York (July 2010)

“And in Act IV, which is set 16 years later, [Director Kenneth Coleman] brings [the comedy] on is spades. Ingram and Wolfe Coleman are hilarious in the rustic clown roles. Jason Asprey assays the humor and song of Autolycus, one of Shakespeare’s great rouges. Davenport’s Polixenes and Josh Aaron McCabe as his sidekick Camillo don Jed Clampett hats and Groucho glasses to infiltrate that revelry that is Florizel (Ryan Winkles) and Perdita’s (Kelly Galvin) wedding. I have to say, it is quite the wild affair!”
—Gail M. Burns, Berkshire Theatre Reviews (July 2010)

“Outstanding character interpretations include those of . . . Johnny Lee Davenport, especially in king in his own land. . . . I always approach this play with worry, having never quite found it to work. This production does. So beautifully that all I can really say is, Go, it should delight.”
—Frances Benn Hall, (July 25. 2010)

Johnny Lee Davenport plays the Bohemian king Polixenes extremely well.”
Peter Bergman Theatre Reviews (July 25, 2010)

Johnny Lee Davenport is warm and pleasant as the Bohemian King, except in a shocking scene in the second half when he demonstrates that he is just as capable as Leontes in lashing out with irrational anger at his own flesh and blood when he feels betrayed.”
—Andrew Beck, The Hartford Examiner (July 26, 2010)

“In the first act, Leontes, the king of Sicilia, (a compelling performance by Jonathan Epstein) and his pregnant wife, Hermione, played by the luminous Elizabeth Aspenlieder, are entertaining Leontes’s lifelong friend Polixenes, the king of Bohemia (the elegant Johnny Lee Davenport).”
—Lesley Ann Beck, Berkshire Living (July 26, 2010)

Johnny Lee Davenport is a properly perplexed King of Bohemia when accused of wrong-doing and a bitter father when he finds out his son has deceived him.”
—Bob Goepfert, The Troy Record (August 5, 2010)

Johnny Lee Davenport is Polixenes, and when he reminisces about his childhood with his friend Leontes you can almost see them as kids, romping around their kingdoms together. Polixenes has his crazy moments, too, refusing to allow his son to marry a shepherdess.”
—Harriet F. Bergmann, Berkshire Record (August 5, 2010)

“Like Othello, The Winter’s Tale begins with a scene of marital harmony, quickly followed by psychopathic jealousy, leading inexorably the death of a beloved spouse. All of this happens in the opening act when Leontes sees his very pregnant wife, Queen Hermione (Elizabeth Aspenlieder) in conversation with his boyhood friend, Polixenes, King of Bohemia (played by the scene-stealing Johnny Lee Davenport).”
—Susan Miron, The Arts Fuse (August 13, 2010)

“Many from the cadre of regulars take lead roles in ‘Tale,’ including Jonathan Epstein and Johnny Lee Davenport as the two kings. They are an excellent match.”
—Shera Cohen, In the Spotlight, Inc. (August 23, 2010)

“The madness of Leontes creeps momentarily into his boyhood friend Polixenes (the protean Johnny Lee Davenport).”
—James Yeara, Metroland (September 2, 2010)

“A terrifically entertaining production with more superb acting. . . . [including] Johnny Lee Davenport’s robust King of Bohemia.”
—Ron Lee, WBRK Radio