Thursday, August 21, 2008

Caesar and Cleopatra (Stratford Shakespeare Festival) - 8/21/08

This production of "Caesar and Cleopatra" (8/21/08) also at the Festival Theatre is fast and wildly entertaining. Caesar here is played by Christopher Plummer, whose charismatic and generous performance anchors the show. Nikki M. James as Cleopatra was lovely, but a bit one-note for my tastes (Anika Noni Rose was initially scheduled to play the role of the young seductress). The festival's new artistic director, Des MacAnuff, has staged the George Bernard Shaw play to spectacular effect: huge set pieces, spectacular costumes, crowd-pleasing performances, judicious cutting of the text. But too much style rather than substance?

Rating: **** (out of *****)

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