The Seattle Times weighs in on The Paradise Theatre School production of "Rosebud: The Live of Orson Welles."
Capably and engagingly enacted by Erik Van Beuzekom and directed by Pattie Miles Van Beuzekom (who run the Paradise Theatre School in Chimacum, Jefferson County), this profile of a man best known for his film “Citizen Kane” and sci-fi radio play “War of the Worlds” (and later for hawking frozen peas and wine ) covers a lot of terrain.
Van Beuzekom’s deep-voiced, rakish Welles is a witty narrator, interspersing his chronological account from privileged, precocious boyhood to cultural prodigy to frustrated celebrity, with fitting quotes from “Julius Caesar,” “Macbeth,” “Henry IV” — works Welles directed, and closely identified with.
His dazzling adventures as a cocksure Broadway/Hollywood boy wonder are covered (including his romance with Rita Hayworth). Then Act 2 of the swift-moving two-hour play turns to Welles’ steep decline, precipitated by the ire of publisher William Randolph Hearst — a model for the maligned lead character in “Citizen Kane,” and a mogul not to be messed with.
“Rosebud” becomes, no wonder, a sadder story, as Welles struggles to scrape up funds for low-budget films and expands his girth to Falstaffian proportions. As his archness sours into bitterness, the script glosses over his own part in the decline, buying into a glib notion of martyred genius.