Monday, December 3, 2018

Weekly Margin 2018, W48: Pretty Woman, Julius Caesar, Once On This Island

11/28/18: Pretty Woman
What: A musical adaptation of the beloved '90s romcom.
And? Really boring. Almost none of the dialog worked (even that lifted straight from the film), most of the songs paused the story rather than furthered it, and even quality performers came off as awkward and uninteresting. The most embarrassing sequence was the opera sequence, where Edward's milquetoast falling-in-love song sounded so crude and clumsy when thrown into relief against the exquisitely emotional arias in Verdi's La Traviata (and I don't even like opera!). Standout was Tommy Bracco as Giulio the Porter.

Eric Anderson and Tommy Bracco as Mr. Thompson and Giulio, and company.
Photo by Matthew Murphy.


11/30/18: Julius Caesar
What: Hamlet Isn't Dead's latest, about the rise and fall of both Julius Caesar and his assassins.
And? Full review here.

Mia Isabella Aguirre as Marcus Brutus (with Noah Ruff as Cassius).
Photo by Mia Isabella Photography.


12/02/18: Once On This Island
a farewell visit, as they've posted their closing date for January. I cried through half the show (as is right)

Margin Notes: Julius Caesar

Mia Isabella Aguirre as Marcus Brutus (with Noah Ruff as Cassius).
Photo by Mia Isabella Photography.

Seen on: Friday, 11/30/18.
My grade: B+

Plot and Background
Hamlet Isn't Dead's latest venture, about the rise and fall of both Julius Caesar and his assassins.

What I Knew Beforehand
I've reviewed and enjoyed HID's productions over the last several years, and I've seen a few productions of Caesar as well.

Thoughts:

Play: Director Emily Jackson inverts the Balcony Theater so that the audience is seated in the pit, looking up at a stepped space, allowing for dynamic (and literal) level-playing, as well as facilitating the many side-conference schemes that happen throughout. The stage pictures created against this are clear and interesting, with the audience leaning forward, leaning in, part of the crowd and unseen witness to inner turmoils. Part of the flavor of a HID production, aside from the live music, is the playful approach to the text by the performers, tossing in sotto voce (or simply voce) asides during each other's speeches. In the comedies, this usually works fairly well, and adds to the enjoyment of the story unfolding; but somehow here, perhaps because it's a weightier story, it undercuts (at least for me), some of the moments of rhetoric for which this play is known.