Ellen Dostal – BroadwayWorld
Taking its cue from Orson Welles‘ 1937 Mercury Theatre production of JULIUS CAESAR, Independent Shakespeare Co. exercises its exceptional ability to adapt one of Shakespeare’s massive works for an intimate indoor setting without giving up any of the play’s scope or impact.
The critical element is the audience, whose inclusion and participation helps overcome the limitations of a theatre by stretching its energy beyond four walls to create a story that feels big even without pageantry. Then, by stripping it down and focusing on the characters, Shakespeare’s observations about politics and the abuse of power begin to resonate loudly as parallels to modern day political corruption are exposed.
In effect, co-directors Melissa Chalsma and David Melville turn what is often an intellectual take on the story into an active “ripped from the headlines” crime story that puts both the murder and its backlash in full view. It’s incredibly exciting.
Now running through May 11