Review: Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra – UNDONE (Skyline Stageworks)

| September 15, 2014
Shawna Tucker (Cleopatra) and Drew Mierzejewski (Octavius) in Skyline Stageworks' "Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE", adapted by Patricia Henritze and Shawna Tucker, directed by John Arthur Lewis. (photo credit: Claire Monson)        
      
Shakespeare’s Antony
     and Cleopatra: UNDONE

Adapted by Patricia Henritze and Shawna Tucker
Directed by John Arthur Lewis
at The Side Project, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
thru Oct 5  |  tickets: $15   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets  
     
                   Read review
     


    
  

Passable but far from electrifying

     

Shawna Tucker (Cleopatra) and James Sparling (Antony) in Skyline Stageworks' "Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE," adapted by Patricia Henritze and Shawna Tucker, directed by John Arthur Lewis. (photo credit: Claire Monson)

    
Skyline Stageworks presents
    
Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE 

Review by Lawrence Bommer

Compressed into 75 minutes, Skyline StageWorks‘ clumsily named Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE (who else’s "Antony and Cleopatra" is in question here?)  is an intense and concentrated distillation of the historical love tragedy into four characters and a few props. Here the poetry, as rhapsodic as the verse given those other star-crossed lovers, takes center stage–which, of course, puts a premium on the performances.

James Sparling (Antony) in Skyline Stageworks' "Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE," adapted by Patricia Henritze and Shawna Tucker, directed by John Arthur Lewis. (photo credit: Claire Monson)John Arthur Lewis‘ staging, which relies on Bill Gordon‘s dogged narrative to supply the missing scenes, gives full focus to the center-stage protagonists, whether they deserve them or not. The passable results are far from electrifying. The chief urgency seems to be to get to the next scene rather than to create a whole that’s bigger than its parts. Shawna Tucker delivers a workmanlike Cleopatra, kittenish but with claws and as deceptive as enticing. She’s a suitable foil to James Sparling‘s land and love-conquering Antony. In cold and cunning contrast, Drew Mierzejewski‘s Octavius Caesar, whose ultimately triumphant opposition to their grand passion is as much personal as political, fares best since he doesn’t need to scale any heights to convey the future Emperor’s efficient pragmatism.

Shawna Tucker (Cleopatra) and Bill Gordon (Player) in Skyline Stageworks' "Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE," adapted by Patricia Henritze and Shawna Tucker, directed by John Arthur Lewis. (photo credit: Claire Monson)

Gordon sedulously suggests the servants and emissaries who provide the connective tissue between these rather selfish lovers and their imperial nemesis. But this stand-alone version needs a denser psychological grounding and lyrical sweep to carry off the great expectations of this formidable passion play. But, as the only "Antony in Cleopatra" in town, it still carries the considerable cachet of its flawless author.

  
Rating: ★★
  
   

Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE continues through October 5th at Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis (map), with performances Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays 3pm.  Tickets are $15, and are available at BrownPaperTickets.com (check for half-price tickets at Goldstar.com). More information at SkylineStageworks.org(Running time: 75 minutes, no intermission)

James Sparling (Antony) and Drew Mierzejewski (Octavius) in Skyline Stageworks' "Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE," adapted by Patricia Henritze and Shawna Tucker, directed by John Arthur Lewis. (photo credit: Claire Monson)

Photos by Claire Monson


     

artists

cast

James Sparling (Antony), Shawna Tucker (Cleopatra), Drew Mierzejewski (Octavius Caesar), Bill Gordon (Player)

behind the scenes

John Arthur Lewis (director), Alexa Berkowitz (stage manager), Matt Kania, Christian Gero (sound design), Drew Mierzejewski (combat design), Kaitlyn Grissom (set design), Nathan Rohrer (costume design), Doug Thomas (graphic design), Claire Monson (photos)

Shawna Tucker (Cleopatra) and James Sparling (Antony) in Skyline Stageworks' "Antony and Cleopatra: UNDONE," adapted by Patricia Henritze and Shawna Tucker, directed by John Arthur Lewis. (photo credit: Claire Monson)

14-0913

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: 2014 Reviews, Lawrence Bommer, side project theatre, Skyline Stageworks, William Shakespeare

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.

Comments are closed.