Julius Caesar takes on modern form at Baruch
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17:04
Once more, Brutus makes the fatal decision that will seal his fate. Contrary to Cassius’ advice to not cede the initiative to Antony, he rushes too early into battle; in doing so he not only exposes his confederate to certain death, but, losing control of his troops to rioting and looting, he dies at the hand of his own sword.
In death, Antony praises him as “the noblest Roman of them all.” Still, more importantly, he ends his speech with “say to all the world, ‘this was a man.’”
Nonetheless, Melrose omitted Act 1, scene 3: a scene of thunder and lightning that using digital imagery could have been used to great dramatic effect as a prelude to Caesar’s death. Instead, Calpurnia’s pallid words do not convey the mystery and power that the natural elements arouse.
An equally striking element was absent: in Act V, scene 3, Cassius, realizing all is lost, runs through his own sword. In death, Titinius places a crown on his body; it is an ironic gesture since in plotting Caesar’s death, Cassius denied Caesar the crown he spurned three times at the Forum.
The absence of these two scenes withholds a certain sharpness of narrative and action.
The Acting Company lived up to its reputation as a first-class repertory company in “Julius Caesar.” The play had a strong cast that assumed the authority their roles required.
I would be remiss if I left out Kathleen Wise who played Portia and Popilius Lena.
Tickets are $49.50 and Baruch students with ID $20.