From Pahl's Pen - A review of King of Shadows

PAHLPITATIONS: Top Ten Reasons Why You Should See Janus Theatre's "King of Shadows"
November 7, 2015
By Richard Pahl
If, like me, you are the sort of theatregoer who appreciates new plays, I wholeheartedly encourage you to see this little gem of a production. Its original story is told in a unique manner--a theatrical hybrid blending of styles and genres.
On its face King of Shadows is the story of a grad student who hopes to do some good in a dangerous world by taking in a 15-year-old runaway who may or may not be a danger to her and her family. Her sister takes an immediate liking to the scamp; her cop boyfriend is alarmed. Their story takes place at the intersection where worlds collide, where one person's reality may be indistinguishable from another person's fantasy.
The playwright focuses on a volatile mix of characters. A homeless teen seemingly rooted in a dream world collides with two sisters living with the fallout of a family tragedy and a detective who recently fled from the unbearable memory of a young boy being brutalized. This chance meeting forces them to confront the possibilities of other worlds, other realities and the potential consequences of their choices.
Top Ten Reasons you should see this production:
1. The intimate setting provides an up close view of the action.
2. Impassioned performances by a vigorous, youthful ensemble.
3-5. Janus Theatre's signature strong production values—the lighting, soundscape and original artwork are thoughtfully chosen to establish and enhance the mood of the play.
6. The very first scene establishes a sense of mystery that becomes more compelling as the play progresses.
7. This fantastic tale offers thoughtful viewpoints on subjects like public service, belief and disbelief, doubt, fear (actual, imaginary and imagined), and the realism of dreams.
8. It frequently provides the sweet relief of unexpected laughs.
9. Janus Theatre, the Elgin Arts Showcase and local arts groups need and deserve your support.
10. With all of the distractions in this high tech world, YOU don't want to lose sight of the magic of live theatre. It can't exist without YOU!
Go. See. Janus Theatre's KING OF SHADOWS.
Richard Pahl is an actor, director, and writer, who has worked in professional, community, and college theater for close to 40 years. He has traveled the country plying his trade at various regional theaters. He was the creator of both Playwrights' Advocate and Page To Stage - incubators for new play production, where local and regional plays were commissioned and simply staged in front of live audiences, providing critical feedback for the playwrights. Pahl also served proudly on the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission from 2007-2014.