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Gregory Itzin

An honorable, though flawed, 'Henry IV, Part One'

An honorable, though flawed, 'Henry IV, Part One'

Lest the title make you skittish about having to endure endless sequels, relax—"Henry IV, Part One" isn't "The Hobbit." Although chronologically second in William Shakespeare's historical tetralogy about the turbulent English monarchy circa 1400, the play delivers a satisfyingly self-sufficient narrative in Antaeus Theater's capable revival.

Still, this minimalist, modern-dress, color-blind, dual-cast staging is not without its challenges for audiences unfamiliar with the story—not the least being that, title notwithstanding, King Henry is only a minor character in it. Rather, the dramatic centerpiece is the coming-of-age of his son and heir, Harry (a.k.a. Hal,...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World