by Charles Culbertson
Staunton News Leader, September 9, 2010
"If it is true that some actors were born to play certain roles, then [James] Keegan might have been born to play Falstaff. He's done it before on the Blackfriars stage — in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, Part 1 — and in each instance his interpretation of the fat, bawdy old knight helped elevate those plays to rarified heights.
"Falstaff is a drinker, a brawler, a womanizer, a braggart and something of a coward, but you just can't help but like him, especially in this play, in which he grudgingly comes to grips with his own aging. Keegan is masterful in balancing "Fat Jack's" by-now-familiar foibles with his humanity and gives us some truly moving and memorable scenes. Keep your eyes peeled for the small, tender scene between Falstaff and the prostitute, Doll, and for Falstaff's eloquence over the virtues of sack."
"But Keegan's characterization is only one of the elements that makes "Part 2" considerably more colorful than its title. Rene Thornton Jr. is haunting as the once-vital, but now ailing and guilt-stricken Henry IV; Ginna Hoben is both earthy and fetching as Doll; and Chris Johnston, who always slips into and out of multiple characters with ease, is delightful whether he's swashbuckling or clowning around."
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