The Lion In Winter
There was a time when I had dreadlocks. They were pretty long and looked really cool for white guy locks. I had every intention of keeping them and letting them grow until I got sick of them and shaved my head again. What I wasn't prepared for was to be offered the role of King Henry II of England in The Lion In Winter. I was sure that Henry didn't have dreadlocks so I had to make a decision. Was I going to keep the dreads or play an iconic role that has been portrayed on film by Peter O'Toole and Patrick Stewart? Yeah, I'm gonna go with the acting. I would be insane to pass up a role like that just to keep hair. Sure they were cool locks, but Peter and Patrick played this role and I wanted to have a connection to greatness like that. After lengthy rehearsals, altering my normal casual speaking voice to an elevated English, and learning to walk in a floor length tunic, I played the role. It is truly one of my proudest moments on stage. It felt good to be the king. It didn't hurt that the rest of the cast was fantastic. Sandy McCabe played my imprisoned wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, Randall Hendricks played my son Richard, Joseph Wilhelm III played my son Geoffrey, Caleb Haidsiak was my youngest son John (after deftly replacing Zach three weeks before opening night), Hailey Hunter played my mistress Alais, Jaxson Oakley played my new rival King Philip of France, Marge Chowning masterfully did all the costumes, and Suzanne Boles made it all come together as she sat in the director's chair. There were literally no downsides to playing this role. I got to argue, yell, cry, rant, laugh, joke, drink, kiss a beautiful woman, and brandish a sword from time to time. I yelled more during the three week run of this play than I had the previous forty years of my life. It was a fun change. If you had a chance to see the performance, I hope it was to your liking. Here are a few photos from The Lion In Winter.