Monday, August 13, 2007
Some residents of Stratford were witness to a theatrical success this weekend. The Bard's, The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice, as performed by a company of players, led by Robert Johanson was sponsored by the Stratford Arts Commission. It was a swift evening of two hours, demonstrating that Shakespeare is not only relevant, but topical and yet methinks as fascile as the performance was, there was something amiss or should I say amissing. Kudos, to Robert Johanson's performance of the villanous Iago, whose crisp elocution and wry delivery found all the dark humor; it was on his back that much of this performance was carried and he ably bore the load, not only of a leading role, but as the director as well, (a perilous combination usually). And yet, my highest praise is reserved for Jo Anne Parady, who excels in the role of Emilia, Iago's wife and Desdemona's attendant. There is a rhythm to tragedy which is indicated by the playwright in meter and phrase, but the actor must breathe life into the words...and the most affective moments of the night belonged to her. Recognition must also be made to Alexander Kulcsar, who stepped into the role of the Duke, as a last week replacement, and wove himself seamlessly into the production. On the technical side, the costumes were magnificent as was the setting, and the placement of the stage a revelation. From the audience perspective, the stage was set at the entrance of a natural arbor that seemed to wend its way to the river, whilst if one looked but slightly to the left, the panorama revealed of bobbing boats and the outgoing currents of the Housatonic emptying into the tides of the Sound was a site to bestir one's soul. Tech-Theatrical Services, LLC, the vendor who provided sound and lights for the Festival should be commended for its patience and perserverance. Working with no drawn plans, a last minute diminuation of and placement of the stage, and a total reworking of the light rigging...Tech-Theatrical went above and beyond the call of duty. The setting was magnificent, and so was the play, and there was enough audience to awaken the hope of renewal. There is more that I can say, but it is enough for now.
Posted by audiojoe