The Theater: Imperator Submersus

REX

Music by RICHARD RODGERS

Lyrics by SHELDON HARNICK

Book by SHERMAN YELLEN

To see this musical is like watching a marauding shark becalmed in a suburban swimming pool. As an actor, Nicol Williamson radiates a sense of imminent danger, mercurial passion and magnetic authority in such a way that he could be every inch the awesome monarch that Henry VIII was. But in Rex he is submerged in a book that swamps that masterful Tudor reign with research-soaked tedium.

The drift of Sherman Yellen's book is that Henry divorced or beheaded wives in quest of a male heir. Actually, there was a son,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!