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LOCAL EVENT: Royalty returns to Lionheart

The Lionheart Theatre is taking audiences back in time, as far back as medieval Europe.

King Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and their three sons prove that dysfunctional families are not a product of the 20th century in "The Lion in Winter," a play written by James Goldman brought to the College Street Playhouse stage under the direction of 80-year-old Sandy Springs resident Adriana Warner.

Warner is an Atlanta transplant with an extensive background in theater education and directing.

"I've been very, very fortunate and blessed. I'm 80 years old and people are still hiring me to direct even though I walk with a cane," she laughed.

Warner was approached by Lionheart's artistic director, Tanya Carroll, about directing the production two years ago.

"I said, 'Do you realize you're talking to a woman who is 78 years olds and you're asking about a play that's two years from now?'" Warner laughed. "That's very gutsy."

"The Lion in Winter" is set to open tonight.

"(Audiences) can expect a production that's a little different than perhaps the ordinary fare that they go to see because its in a period even before our beloved bard Shakespeare," Warner said. "The play takes place in 1183 and the costumes and the castle and that sort of thing will transport them into a somewhat different world than they generally come to see."

Jason Caldwell, who plays middle son Geoffrey, said audiences should take something away from the play, despite the antiquated time period.

"It's set in 1183, but it's very applicable to modern times as well," he said. "It's a very dysfunctional family. I hope that (audiences) take away that no matter how dysfunctional, there is still some humor in every situation."