First Look: These “Heroes” Get the Last Laugh at Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

(l to r) Malcolm Ingram, Robert Lohbauer and Jonathan Epstein are our Heroes. Each of the men — Henri, Gustave and Philippe — thinks the other two are crazy, and each may be right. (photo: Kevin Sprague)

(l to r) Malcolm Ingram, Robert Lohbauer and Jonathan Epstein are our Heroes. Each of the men — Henri, Gustave and Philippe — thinks the other two are crazy, and each may be right.
(photo: Kevin Sprague)

By Larry Murray

Heroes is a simple play that requires absolutely perfect timing for its wealth of one-liners, French bon mots that have been translated by Tom Stoppard into snappy English retorts and now, at Shakespeare & Company it is almost guaranteed that you will see these comic bits churned into comedic sausage right before you eyes. With direction by Kevin Coleman and a first rate cast, this will be an intellectual sit-com for the sophisticated Lenox audiences that adore the company as much for its crazy comedies as for its erudite Shakespeare. No other company has ShakesCo’s masterful command of the pause, the double-take, the tossed-off comment and the pointed glance — techniques that will allow them to savor the play’s every spicy note.

Winner of the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, Heroes is the irreverent and poignant story of three World War I veterans confined to a retirement home in their twilight years. The year is 1953, and Gustave, Philippe and Henri have seen more exciting days. They amuse themselves with nostalgic anecdotes, provocative gossip, and generally irritating one another. But life in the French countryside proves to be a bit too calm, and the three war veterans begin to plot their escape. Together, they contrive what might be their last epic adventure.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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