News, May 21, 1997
By Reed Johnson
"A Knight Out in Los Angeles" (is) McKellen's chatty,
dignified, and insightful one-man show about his parallel journeys as an
actor and a gay man.
"A Knight Out" is the kind of inspirational story that
so many first-person staged confessionals fail to be. Going beyond the
smugness and narcissistic posturing that often define this genre, McKellen
offers a moving and witty assessment of the conflict between our public
and private selves.
McKellen illuminates these tensions not only with personal anecdotes
but with impersonations of some of Shakespeare's greatest characters (Coriolanus,
Edward II), whom he brings to life with nothing but Gregory Cooke's unobtrusive
direction, Cynthia Shiley's lighting, and his own superlative talent.
Don't get the idea, though, that "A Knight Out" sacrifices
entertaining gossip to high culture. Plenty of names get dropped in the
course of the show's roughly 90-minute running time. And McKellen does
a spot-on impersonation of his friend and fellow Northerner, David Hockney.
If knighthood has less to do with medals than with courage and service
to others, Sir Ian is worthy of his title.
Copyright 1997 Daily News
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