Review - The History Boys

by Jenny B., Teen Reviewer

The Tony Award winning show by Alan Bennett has finally come to Seattle! Christopher Zinovitch directed an expertly executed and thought provoking performance. This performance is filled with highly achieved actors that portray Bennett’s ideas brilliantly. It is filled with the significance of the randomness of events in history and how important it is who teaches them to you. When there is a chance to see a show of this caliber it should never be passed up.

Very few shows will keep you laughing and engaging you throughout almost the entire show. The story follows a group of teenagers who are on the verge of going to university. They are taking their entrance exam that will determine if they will get in to one of the top universities in England, namely Oxford. But this exam will prove to be more eventful and symbolic than anyone could ever have expected. Mixed with risqué happenings and intrigue, this story is sure to keep your attention from the beginning to the end.

The west end version of this show is highly regarded for its interesting and creative set changes. It is also acclaimed because of its use of bringing video into theatre. Though the beginning set is almost an exact replica of other productions of this show, almost all of the set changes were wisely removed. This seemed to perfectly fit the space and the overly extensive set changes would have detracted from the performance due to the space used to perform.

The costumes were well accomplished and pulled you into England. They made the high school feeling really come to life. Every character was accented by the clothes they were adorning.

The teacher that filled the boys with facts and knowledge named Dorothy Lintott was masterfully played by Jody McCoy. Her empowering and energetic performance left the audience whopping and cheering after her magnificently performed monologue. It is hard to pinpoint the greatest performances in this work because everyone worked so well together, the flow seamed unstoppable. Alex Garnett played a self confident almost snobby part that seemed to fit his character, though gave him soft enough edges for the audience to feel for the situation he gets himself into. Justin Huertas who played Posner filled the shoes to make sure he was the round character he was intended to be.

Zinovitch really brought this performance together. Every aspect of the show seemed to complement each other. It was pieced together from other previous performances yet it still had a flavor of its own. The casting was outstanding; every character fit their role amazingly.

The wonderful combination of a gallery and theatre puts you in the mood to see a show before you even take your seat. Overall this show is a must see. There are so many amazing shows in Seattle right now. This show should definitely be one of the top on your list. It’s good for discussion and a good laugh. It is a show you won’t soon forget.

Mar 4 – 28

More info and show times:

ArtsWest’s Ticket Office: 206-938-0339

ArtsWest is located at 4711 California Ave SW in West Seattle. It's served by buses 22, 37, 51, 53, 54, 55, 57, 128, and 560.

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