Onstage: Timon of Athens

It's always startling when a play from four centuries ago sounds like it was written yesterday but, at this particular moment in history, 'Timon of Athens' seems like an contemporary play. Cincinnati Shakespeare Co. has set it in today's world without wo

Timon of Athens, from around 1605, has a weird, modern resonance and a special appeal — like Shakespeare could read the future. Theory has it that Shakespeare wrote it to satirize British nobility who were living lavishly, throwing parties and taking on extraordinary amounts of debt. Sound familiar?

It’s always startling when a play from four centuries ago sounds like it was written yesterday but, at this particular moment in history, Timon seems like an contemporary play. CSC has set it in today’s world without working too hard: When a flattering senator who has been receiving money from Timon is asked to help bail him out, he says, “This is no time to lend money.”

You’ll see a man who many people can identify with in 2009 — his home is foreclosed and his servants are laid off following his bankruptcy. Timon, played by CSC veteran Nick Rose (pictured), is outraged at the corruption of government and the false nature of his friends. It seems likely that this production will be a bit of catharsis for audiences — laughing at our current situation, railing with Timon against injustice and seeing the bad guys get their comeuppance.

To emphasize the “house of cards” that represents Timon’s crumbling world, CSC has built a set using 50,000 playing cards donated by Belterra Casino. You can bet on the fact that this will be an interesting production. Through March 22. $12-$26.

Read Tom McElfresh's review here.

Scroll to read more News Feature articles

Newsletters

Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.