Joined By Four Fine And Talented Actors, Excaliber Productions, Ltd. Founder, Adapter, Director And Narrator Darryl Maximilian Robinson Presented A Critically-Praised 1990 Dramatic Reading of Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas' A Child's Christmas In Wales And More Tales At The Utopian Loft Theatre In St. Louis, Missouri Edit
"Reading the works of Dylan Thomas is a delightful experience; hearing them is a memorable one. The Welsh genius wrote poetry and prose that carry a special ring and rhythm, bursting like a great holiday fruitcake with passion, wit, exciting descriptions, the persistance of memory. All those wonderful qualities came bounding back through "A Child's Christmas in Wales and More Tales," read by Darryl Maximilian Robinson and four other actors in a production that opened last weekend and will continue Friday and Saturday at 8 pm., Sunday at 2 and 7:30 pm. at The Utopian Loft Theatre, 3524 Washington Avenue." -- Joe Pollack, An Evening Of Pure Poetry, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 27, 1990.
Almost 30 years ago, in November of 1990, Adapter, Director, Producer and Narrator Darryl Maximilian Robinson ( The Founder of the multiracial, non-equity professional chamber theatres Excaliber Productions, Ltd. in St. Louis and The Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago ) gathered a group of highly-talented actors including Suzette Sutton, Walter Roberts, Phillip H. Dennis and Christian Kohn to present a critically-praised, staged dramatic reading of the works of Welsh poet and storyteller Dylan Thomas entitled A Child's Christmas In Wales And More Tales at The Utopian Loft Gallery and Theatre in The Midtown District of The Gateway City. In the November 27, 1990 edition of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on page 36, the headline of the notice by the late and highly-respected theatre critic Joe Pollack gave a full assessment of the Excaliber Productions offering: An Evening Of Pure Poetry.
This theatre article is presented in appreciation of the fine and committed work of all of Excaliber Productions, Ltd. Company Members of St. Louis, Missouri and as part of The Excaliber Shakespeare Company Los Angeles Archival Project.
An Evening Of Pure Poetry Edit
By Joe Pollack
Of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Staff
The St. Louis-Post-Dispatch
November 27, 1990
READING the works of Dylan Thomas is a delightful experience; hearing them read is a memorable one. The Welsh genius wrote poetry and prose that carry a special ring and rhythm, bursting like a great holiday fruitcake with passion, wit, exciting descriptions, the persistence of memory. All those wonderful qualities came bounding back through "A Child's Christmas in Wales and More Tales," read by Darryl Maximilian Robinson and four other actors in a production that opened last weekend and will continue Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m. at The Utiopian Loft Theatre, 3524 Washington Avenue.
The players of Excaliber Productions, as Robinson calls the company, almost outnumbered the patrons on Saturday night, and until 8:05 p.m., while Walter Arley Roberts was playing classical cello in what might have been termed an overture, I was facing the unique prospect of being the entire audience, all by myself. It's a charming evening of readings, with all the players showing the proper respect for Thomas' words by making every one clear and understandable. Robinson is director and narrator, joined by Philip Dennis, Christian Kohn, Suzzette Sutton and Roberts, who doubles as an actor. Each did a solo reading, and the company worked together on "Quite Early One Morning" and "A Story (A Day's Outing)," which was the highlight.
Robinson, a Chicago-based actor who has worked with the Theatre Project Company here, read the classic "Child's Christmas" in splendid style, and brought forth all the humor in "The Song of the Mischievous Dog," a poem written by Thomas when he was 11 years old. A shortcoming is that Robinson shows too many acting mannerisms that detract from the words he is reading. He was superior, however, as the narrator and boy in A Story," which Thomas describes as having occurred "when I was so high and much nicer." It's a funny, rousing tale of an annual outing by a group of Welsh friends whose aim is to drink the entire stock of every pub in the area.
The supporting players added the other characters with considerable charm. "Quite Early One Morning," a description of his hometown as its people begin a wintry day, also received a lovely reading by the group. Sutton showed all the proper passion in "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night," and Kohn impressed with "Gaspar, Melchior, Balthasar." Thomas' work proves the beauty and power of English, and it's a pleasure to hear it so nicely treated.
A DYLAN THOMAS ADAPTER, DIRECTOR & PERFORMER ALUM'S UPDATE!:
Most recently, during an extended year-long visit to his original hometown of Chicago, Darryl Maximilian Robinson garnered attention for his well-received portrayal of the marvelous dual roles of Mr. William Cartwright, Your Chairman of The Music Hall Royale and The Mayor Thomas Sapsea of Cloisterham, England in skilled Director / Music Director Robert-Eric West's 2018 Saint Sebastian Players of Chicago Revival Production of Rupert Holmes' classic Tony Award-winning Best Musical Mystery Whodunit The Mystery of Edwin Drood presented at the lovely, more than a century old St. Bonaventure Church in the West Lakeview neighborhood of The Windy City. Mr. Robinson's performance was critically-praised, documented earlier this year by Wikipedia, and in November of 2019: The Year of Chicago Theatre, captured for him a 2019 Chicago BroadwayWorld.com Regional Theatre Award Nomination for Best Performer In A Musical or Revue ( Resident Non-Equity ). The SSP Revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood received a grand total of Seven 2019 Chicago BroadwayWorld.com Regional Theatre Award Nominations including: Best Performer In A Musical or Revue ( Resident Non-Equity ) for Sarah Myers for her fine portrayal of Edwin Drood and Miss Alice Nutting; Best Direction of A Musical or Revue ( Resident Non-Equity ) for Robert-Eric West; Best Choreography ( Resident Non-Equity ) for Tamara Drew; Best Costume Design ( Resident Non-Equity ) for Sandra Leander; Best Set Design ( Resident Non-Equity ) for Emil Zbella; and Best Ensemble of A Musical ( Resident Non-Equity ) for THE ENTIRE CAST! Those who love musical theatre performance in The Windy City that would like to honor and support the work of Mr. Robinson and his fellow nominees of Rupert Holmes' brilliant but seldom performed stage classic with their votes for this critically-praised Non-Equity professional theatre production may do so by visiting: BroadwayWorld.com Chicago Regional Theatre Awards Voting!
Your Continued Support of The Tradition of Non-Equity Professional Theatre In Chicago Is Appreciated!