Julius Caesar

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

Dan Davidson

Ryann Turner as Isabella and Blake Kubena as Angelo in Measure for Measure at UC's College-Conservatory of Music

If Shakespeare is your guy, you have a good week in store. Let's start with the CINCINNATI SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, which is offering one of the best known plays by the Elizabethan writer, JULIUS CAESAR. Don't go yawning and telling me you read that one in high school. When you see it presented by CSF, it will take on a life you never imagined. The company's artistic director, BRIAN ISAAC PHILLIPS, is staging this one, and he's cast two CSF veterans as Cassius and Brutus, the conspiring assassins. GILES DAVIES will play the scheming Cassius, while JEREMY DUBIN is the virtuous but naïve Brutus. This production marks the pair's 10th year of working onstage together. Says Phillips, "Any director knows that 90 percent of the job is done with the casting. Having these two talents, with all of their experience together, in these powerful roles, guarantees a production not to be missed. This is the Brutus-Cassius combination to see — this year or any year."

The production opens Thursday and runs through March 12. Box office: 513- 381-2273. ...

If Julius Caesar isn't enough for you, how about a short run of one of Shakespeare's less frequently produced works, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, which will be presented in the Cohen Family Studio Theater at UC's College-Conservatory of Music, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It's being directed by NICK MANGANO, who's day-to-day responsibilities at CCM are teaching graduate-level directors, so he knows how to put together an interesting production. He piloted this production last summer at the Garson Theater Company in New Mexico, where he runs a summer program. There he presented it with a cast of nine performers, doubling many roles. At CCM, he's doing it with 24 student actors. Though classified as a comedy, this play is a story of the abuse of power, including sexual harassment that rivals modern stories on the subject. Mangano says, "There is not a more relevant theater piece for out time than this compelling and controversial play, which, even in Shakespeare's day, was a passionate plea for tolerance and compassion during a conservative time." Admission to Measure for Measure is free, but reservations are required. Box office: 513-556-4183. ...

A bit more than a year ago the KNOW THEATRE TRIBE left the comfortable confines of Gabriel's Corner, where it often presents shows, for another pleasant spot: Mount Adams Bar & Grill. The show in November 2004 was Conor McPherson's The Good Thief, an hour-long monologue that featured actor NICK ROSE in a role nominated for a Cincinnati Entertainment Award. Know knows a good thing, so they've found another work by McPherson, PORT AUTHORITY, and will present it with Rose and two other CEA-recognized actors, CHRIS GUTHRIE and MICHAEL BURNHAM. The show, an Irish tale about love, betrayal and forgiveness, presents three generations of Irish men whose stories interlock. Port Authority is being presented on Sunday-Tuesday evenings through Feb. 28. (See review on page 44.) Tickets: 513-621-2787. ...

A noteworthy theatrical performance, LIFE IN A JAR, is coming to Cincinnati on March 12-13, in conjunction with Holocaust Awareness Week, presented by the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education at Hebrew Union College. The play depicts the life of Irena Sendler, a member of the Polish resistance during World War II, who saved more than 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto. The play was created by four high-school students from Uniontown, Kan., and will be presented twice on March 12 (at Children's Hospital at 1 p.m. and at Yavneh Day School in Montgomery at 7 p.m.); it will be repeated on March 13 at downtown's Jarson-Kaplan Theater). The performance is also available for viewing at schools. Interested teachers can call 513-487-3055 for more information.

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