April 15, 2015
I AM DEAD. I am in my casket, I am in a dress shirt, tie and sports coat. This is my funeral. People are saying nice things about me. At least I think so. I can't hear. Showering accolades on the departed is mandatory, right? No lie detectors allowed. Remember Mark Antony spilling about Caesar? (Not implying I am Caesar, but I do carry a toga well.) What a shame the deceased can't hear this - the impact he had on lives, the good works she inspired, the causes fought, the memories created.
February 15, 2014 |
Is there a more terrifying line than Mark Antony's in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar : "Cry, 'Havoc!' And let slip the dogs of war"? This powerful play is about self-deluded warrior-politicians; it is filled with conspiracy, ambition, corruption, betrayal, and tyranny. And if the leaders are vicious, the public, easily manipulated, is worse. The Lantern Theatre production, under the direction of Charles McMahon, is both intriguing and frustrating. Julius Caesar is a play for all times, as Shakespeare's plays always turn out to be, whether the setting is ancient Rome or the forest of Arden.
November 29, 2012 |
Why were we utterly unprepared for the Sept. 11 attacks? How come political pundits didn't foresee the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Soviet Union? How could our economic brain trust, with all their Nobel Prizes, not anticipate the 2008 economic meltdown? We didn't see any of it coming, says Nassim Nicholas Taleb, because we couldn't. History, Taleb argues in his new book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder (Random House, $30), is shot through with random, unforeseeable events.
June 4, 2010 |
The name Cleopatra conjures an image of beauty and mystery. Modern movies and artists portray the Queen of the Nile as powerful and glamorous, but there is much more to her story. After Egypt fell to Roman forces, Cleopatra famously took her own life after her lover Mark Antony killed himself. The Romans then tried to wipe her legacy from the pages of history. To this day, her body and burial crypt, as well as much of the evidence of her reign, have been lost to the sands and waters of Egypt.
May 30, 2010 |
The two red granite statues, each more than 16 feet tall, entered the Franklin Institute one recent morning through soaring glass loading doors on the second floor. The great figure of a king went first, resting in a crate atop a metal pallet lifted by a crane. Soon he would stand beside an Egyptian queen, also from Cleopatra's Ptolemaic era - two monumental artifacts of her mysterious world. A rigging crew and several Egyptians - present whenever their country's antiquities are in transit - worked quietly, pulling the statues inside, unpacking them, standing them upright.
July 21, 2009 |
What concerned me most about Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's Antony and Cleopatra wasn't how director Patrick Mulcahy was going to rassle with the zillion or so scene changes required, or how he would subdue Shakespeare's wildly complicated script. No, the most pressing question I had was: How would Greg Wood - who earlier this season iced down the action as a bloodlessly satanic Mr. Lockhart in Arden Theatre's production of The Seafarer - pull off the passion-fueled, impulse-driven, panting lion in winter Mark Antony?
April 5, 2005 |
When the assassins arrive at the meeting where they will murder Julius Caesar, a metal detector screens them before they are allowed to enter the room. Since they have stashed their knives in a briefcase under a table in advance, the security check is no obstacle. This time-spanning touch in Daniel Sullivan?s clamorous, pleasingly multiracial, modern-dress staging of Julius Caesar proves to be one of its few subtle and pointed moments. It?s an image that argues the timeless and ever relevant qualities of Shakespeare?s consideration of the uses and abuses of power and idealism.
August 25, 1997 |
With a trident in one hand and a net in the other, Gianluca Zanna, who goes by the name of Spartacus and looks as if he just hopped off a Harley, glittered in black leather and silver studs as he winked at a few blond tourists and spoke of a gladiator's joy. Sure there were the financial squabbles with his partner, the breast-plated, perpetually sweating Mark Antony. Sure he jangled when he walked and his sandals gave him blisters. And, yes, British tourists were often chintzy with tips.
March 24, 1988 |
The Shakespeare project at the Public Theater picks up steam with a dynamic Julius Caesar that opened on Tuesday. In staging Shakespeare's drama of the most famous political assassination in history, producer Joseph Papp has cast Martin Sheen and Edward Herrmann as assassins and Al Pacino as the avenger, Mark Antony. The celebrity casting is Papp's way to get a larger public acquainted with Shakespeare, whose 36 plays he plans to stage over the next several years. The policy works better with Caesar than it did in the first offering of the series, the Brazilian A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which F. Murray Abraham was miscast as Bottom.
March 17, 1988 |
Would you buy Julius Caesar - the Julius Caesar - as a contemporary politician in Latin America, North Africa or Lebanon? Actually, my first impression at the start of last night's opening of the Shakespeare tragedy "Julius Caesar" at the Zellerbach was that we had landed once more in Cuba, the contemporizing locale of The Acting Company's "Much Ado About Nothing" earlier this season, what with the guerrilla-style uniforms and the likeness of Dr....