Despite the austerity of the set-less bare floor, the Philadelphia Artists' Collective's splendid production of Mary Stuart evokes the grandeur of the Elizabethan court. Friedrich Schiller's classic drama, written in 1800, is a riveting battle to the death between two powerful queens, Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.
If you have a taste for opulent costumes (brava! Katherine Fritz) and for thrilling language delivered with passion and precision, don't miss this one.
The 16th-century English throne has had much attention lately: We slurped up the TV series The Tudors, and then the two prizewinning Hilary Mantel novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, both of which were adapted for the stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company and are about to be filmed for the BBC. Mary Stuart picks up the royal story when Protestant Elizabeth (Krista Apple-Hodge) has kept Catholic Mary (Charlotte Northeast) imprisoned for 18 years; she knows Mary's "death alone can make the Queen secure."