Review: All The King’s Men at Gamut Theatre Group

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Everyone who knows me knows I love award season, so it was fitting I visited Gamut Theatre for their production of Robert Penn Warren’s “All The King’s Men” the night before the Academy Awards because the film adaptation swept the Oscars in 1950.

And I can see why. The story is smooth-talking yet fast-paced, dramatic but not over the top. It’s an entertaining and explosive show that ends with a bang, literally. It definitely wins “Best Picture” to me!

gamut theatre

The show follows Willie Stark, a lawyer-turned-politician, whose ruthless and conniving rise to political power rattles his tiny Louisiana town during the 1940s.

It’s very reminiscent of “House of Cards” (even beyond the southern accents), but the all the betrayal, secrets and histrionics found in Frank Underwood’s D.C. web is instead intertwined within the inner workings of a sleepy southern town. Stark is brash and ruthless but you can’t decide if you want to root for him or if you want him to crash and burn. You may find yourself wanting both, actually, and the clash between right and wrong make for a fascinating story that Gamut tells brilliantly. The show tackles politics, but it’s a true drama at its core.

“All The King’s Men” is one of the most traditional pieces of theater I’ve seen in a while – and a far cry from my first visit to the theater during the holidays – and Gamut does an excellent job of storytelling in the traditional theater, which speaks to the company’s true professionalism and talent. The cast is top-notch and I was blown away when I found out most of the actors are just starting their acting careers. 

The show runs through Sunday, with performances tonight and tomorrow before its final performance on Sunday afternoon. Find out all you need to know and grab your tickets here.

For those looking to make the most of your trip, grab an Old Fashioned from nearby Bacco or head to the theater a little early for a Gin Fizz, the theater bar’s signature drink for the show.

Looking ahead, Gamut will feature “Voices of F.E.W.“, a one-woman theatrical performance that chronicles the life of Frances Ellen Watkins-Harper, a pioneering social activist and abolitionist. And just in time for the “holiday” (Ides of March), Gamut Theatre, the combined theatre of Harrisburg Shakespeare Company and Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” from March 15-17.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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