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Cymbeline

a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by William Shakespeare

COMPANY : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
ID# 4785

SHOWING : September 12, 2015 - September 27, 2015

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A chaste princess betrayed and lost, an evil step mother, two brothers unaware of their princely status….sound pretty heavy for a romance? Shakespeare has a way of making it all work out in the end. Full of plot devices reminiscent of "Othello," "Romeo and Juliet," "As You Like It" and "The Winter’s Tale," "Cymbeline" illustrates Shakespeare’s power over audiences. Experience the magic!


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jeff Watkins
Ensemble Gabriella Anderson
Belarius Tony Brown
Imogen Anna Fontaine
Posthumus Leonatus Paul Hester
Iachimo Jonathan Horne
Pisanio Adam Daniel King
Ensemble Eric Lang
Ensemble Eric Lang
Caius Lucius Matt Nitchie
Philaria/Musician Mary Ruth Ralston
Cloten Kevin Roost
Cadwal Stephen Ruffin
The Queen Mary Russell
Cymbeline Troy Willis
Guiderius Trey York
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REVIEWS

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A Tragedy with a Happy Ending
by playgoer
Monday, September 28, 2015
3.0
"Cymbeline" has the underpinnings of a tragedy, with a king who banishes those who prove most loyal to him and whose sons are stolen as toddlers in retribution, not to mention a faithful wife whose honor is presented as being compromised to her husband. It has elements of comedy too, with a woman disguising herself as a man and happy endings all around. History? Sure; Cymbeline is a legendary Celtic British king. There’s blood too, with a severed head and headless torso featuring prominently in the plot. Basically, it’s everything Shakespeare is known for, tossed into one big p(l)ot and stirred around. There’s even one of Shakespeare’s more famous songs, "Fear No More" (although here it’s given a dull musical setting that plops the notes in a regular rhythm that doesn’t much take breathing into account).

Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern is giving the public a l-o-n-g rendition of the play, replete with two intermissions. The plot isn’t too hard to follow, but the wordiness tends to get in the way. There are multiple instances where the audience is well-aware of what’s going on, but the characters onstage need to be brought up to speed, and that tends to bog the show down. An edited version of the script could have kept all the salient plot points while reducing the thicket of verbiage surrounding them.

Comedy is definitely the emphasis in this production. The villains of the piece, Cloten (Kevin Roost) and Iachimo (Jonathan Horne), are both played for laughs, and they are both entertaining. Nearly all the performances are quite good, down through the ensemble. I thought that Troy Willis, in the title role, was less commanding (and certainly softer-voiced) than I would have liked, and that Anna Fontaine, as Cymbeline’s daughter Imogen, too often had a flatness of voice that made her character less engaging than she should have been. Considering that these two are at the center of the play, that made the ensemble shine the brighter.

"Cymbeline" isn’t one of Shakespeare’s greatest works, but it does have its charms. In Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern’s production, it reminds one of a lean high school athlete who’s gained a little weight and is moving slower than in his heyday, and compensates for his deficiencies by clowning around a bit too much. It’s good, but not great. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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