The King Stag
Folsom, CA 95630
It’s a big hit of magic from Folsom Lake College’s Falcon’s Eye Theatre in this production Carlo Gozzi’s The King Stag, adapted by Shelley Berc and Andrei Belgrader. Jamie Van Camp directs the commedia dell’arte piece, a throwback to when actors used masks and the physical comedy was rife with irreverent humor.
The plot of the play centers on a king (Ross Branch) who is trying to find an honest bride. After searching thousands of applicants, the king chooses one that truly loves him. When his mischievous right-hand man, Tartaglia (Michael Spargo), learns a secret spell that allows the user to swap bodies with a corpse, the kingdom is thrown into chaos.
Every facet of this show shines with talent. The costumes and set—especially the light work (designed by Les Solomon)—create a wonderfully immersive atmosphere for the audience to sink into. The masks are all well made and suit the characters well.
The production is full of excellent comic performances, but most notable are the hilariously voiced Pantalone (Ben Schilling) and the slapstick trio of Brighella (Gaby Haught), Smeraldina (Chloe Cornelius) and Truffaldino (Gavin Sellers). It also features a truly sweet romance between the king and his queen, Pantalone’s daughter, Angela (Matti McKenzie).
The King Stag is a perfect opportunity to see an ancient style of theatre—one that proves fart jokes and tumbling remain as funny now as they were hundreds of years ago, but also ends with a message of tolerance and love.