The Crownless King
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★ ★ ½ "In House Theatre's 'The Crownless King,' the characters we met in 'The Iron Stag King' last year take to the seas to battle as the black dragon Irek Obsidian (voiced and humanized by Tracy Letts) fights for narrative dominance with Hap the Golden. It's greatly rewarding to those ready to lose themselves in its maps, linguistic riches, thematic reaches and theatrical ferocity. And this production features some gorgeous costumes from Melissa Torchia, whose threads are stunning throughout. But that does not change this truth: 'The Crownless King' is very hard to follow. I think this show is asking a lot of those coming in cold from the street, so to speak, despite a quick, "previously transpired"-type prologue. Part 1 was staged a full year ago. This enterprise could also use a few more characters with whom one can emotionally identify." —Chris Jones