BWW Review: JULIUS CAESAR at Encore Theater
The only time I have ever admitted to liking Shakespeare was when Christian Borle played him in Broadway's SOMETHING ROTTEN. Today, I'll say it for the second time, I actually liked Shakespeare. Specifically, Encore Theater Company's production of JULIUS CAESAR. In addition it was perfect evening weather for an outdoor play in their 9th season of Shakespeare in the park.
Director Jonathan Perry's choice to make this a gender-bending adaptation was brilliant. Females playing male roles is nothing new, however sometimes it can trigger skepticism. In this case it worked well and I liked it even more.
Though the play is not called Marcus Brutus as some critics think it should have been, this tragedy does circle around Brutus's struggle between honor and friendship. Diana Cayler, who portrays Brutus in this adaptation was superb. Every emotion was spot on each time. The ringleader behind Brutus is Cassius played by Nichole Stull. Stull shows the strength and weaknesses of Cassius with her whole body and heart. The ups and downs of the relationship between Cassius and Brutus are in my opinion the best part of this play. Stull and Cayler have great chemistry on stage and are not to be missed.
The cast is filled with some other noteables as well. Carlyn Jones as Casca had great presence and was wonderful to watch, and Victoria Horn as Marc Antony delivered the famous speeches with power and precision.
As with most Shakespeare plays, it's a long one. It could be cut down a bit by removing unnecessary pre-show and intermission entertainment, but don't let that keep you from seeing this really well put together play. Chairs are provided, but it's worth it to bring in a comfy camp chair.
Julius Caesar runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday through July 29th at 7:30pm Tickets are $14 in advance or $16 at the door. http://home.encoreetc.org
Photo Credit: Natashia Rechenmacher