Sometimes it pays to take a risk. That’s what I did tonight when I headed to BAM’s Fishman Space to attend the production of texts&beheadings/ElizabethR. This was one of those performance ideas that was either going to succeed or fail embarrassingly. I am happy to report it worked quite well. I am fascinated by the Tudors, and have devoured every book written by the author Philippa Gregory, so I am pretty up to date on my knowledge about Elizabeth I of England. This fascinating play featured four diverse women, each playing Elizabeth, and each woman spoke the words that Elizabeth I actually uttered or wrote. It was like experiencing Queen Elizabeth in surround sound. These talented actresses were also lovely singers, and the words, letters, music and prayers of the queen were deftly woven together in this entertaining one hour performance by Compania de’ Columbari (directed by Karin Coonrod.) I was riveted. I wanted more. I wanted it to somehow go even deeper. I feel like they only scratched the surface of this intriguing queen. The simple, regal costumes designed by Oana Botez added lushness to this perfectly spare — and sometimes bawdy — production.

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