Review of Big Voice: Falstaff & Prince Hal
It's fun to see how different critics and observers view The Big Voice. In Dallas we were "Zero Mostel in love with Anthony Perkins." In Philadelphia, as the opening to the Philadelphia Gay & Lesbian Theatre Festival, a particularly literate reviewer, Henrik Eger, saw us in Shakespearean terms:
Serious, skinny Schalchlin looks like the unlikely Prince Hal to match big Brochu, who looks and acts like a campy Falstaff. Both bring out a humanity in most unexpected ways.Indeed, the house was ROCKING both nights in spite of the fact that, at the first performance, we were both spitting out wrong dialogue and forgetting lyrics here and there. Luckily, it didn't matter. We just plowed on through and kicked ass. I'll have some pictures later on. But what a weekend.
Just as the sixteen-year-old Hal was almost killed by an arrow which became lodged in his face, he survived through the benefit of the best possible care, though his face was permanently marked by deep scars, proof of his valor in battle, so Schalchlin was nurtured back to life from the devastating ravages of AIDS by his life-mate Brochu. Their life, dramatically different as they are—one a young, introverted Baptist from Arkansas versus the overweight, boisterous Brooklyn boy who idolizes Ethel Merman and nurtures a hidden desire to become a priest, if not the Pope—comes together in a production that entertains as the best of Broadway shows but also takes us to the abyss of a Shakespearean tragedy. The audience at the old Plays and Players Theatre both fought tears at times but, even more often, roared with laughter