While William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale might seem contrived or even impossible to stage, the Denver Center Theatre Company's seasonal production was a superbly realized dramatic poem about redemption and renewal. The lyrical currents that twist beneath the play's prosaic rime were marvelously shaped into a vibrant whole by director Laird Williamson, whose aesthetic increasingly reflects a mature artist's appreciation of life's ambiguities. And it didn't hurt that the mystical drama was performed against a stunning backdrop of giant steel trees rooted in a cracked alabaster floor, costumed and lighted to perfection and accompanied by an original musical score of Byzantine-like chants. Along with the efforts of a splendid cast, Williamson's artful touches brilliantly evoked the Bard's twilight observations about "unpath'd waters" and "undream'd shores."
Readers' choice: Suddenly Last Summer , Germinal Stage Denver