Monday, February 20, 2006


From: "will stackman"

Subject: Quicktake - "Othello" by Wm. Shakespeare

Date: Sun, Feb 19,

Quicktake on OTHELLO

     With "Othello", Boston Theatre Works has achieved a level of Shakespearean production beyond their past efforts. The show is bolstered by a cast lead by Jonathan Epstein and Tony Molina, two Shakespeare and Company veterans who played this piece in Lenox, as Iago and the title role. In addition, Susanna Apgar, who trained and acted with S&C plays Desdemona, while Iago's wife is played by Elizabeth Aspenlieder, a ten year member of the company. The remainder of the reduced cast includes ART grad and filmmaker Trey Burvant as Michael Cassio, local actor Michael McKeogh as Iago's pigeon Roderigo, while Publick Theatre and Shakespeare Now! hand Gerard Slattery takes on both the Doge of Venice and a functionary on Cyprus where the action happens. Actor and retired teacher Ray Jeness, now with the Gloucester Stage Company, plays Desdemona's father, the Governor of Cyprus, and the Venetian emissary at the end of the play, while Claire Shinkman, whose last Shakespearean role was Laertes in last summer's Theatre in the Raw "Hamlet" at the Theatre Coop, is a Venetian senator and Cassio's bawdy playmate Bianca. These nine form a tight ensemble more than capable of illuminating this play.

     The show is performed on a plain abstract set by Zeynep Bakkal, with a distant strip of sky seen behind large revolving doors at the back and no furniture, just a low central platform. John R. Malinowski has designed simple but effective lighting which changes with the mood of the play as much as the action. Rachel Padula Shufelt's costumes are modern, minimal, and very effective. Cam Willard's soundscape, with wind, storm, alarums, and musical backgrounds moves the action along. Jason Slavick has directed the show with an economy that matches the production, relying on his experienced cast and the words of the Bard to carry the action. Compared to the ART's mirror backed extravaganza several seasons ago, or the touring version the Guthrie recently brought in, this production digs deeper into the conundrum of Othello's tragedy, leaving the audience with more to think about, and Epstein and Molina's artful performances to remember.

"Othello" by Wm. Shakespeare, Feb. 16 - Mar 11

Boston Theatre Works in Plaza Theatre

BCA, 539 Tremont, (617) 933 - 8600
Boston Theatre Works


Post a Comment

<< Home