With an imposing wall of seven Stonehenge-like columns, vaguely suggestive of both ruins and Roman Doric Columns. The show begins with a montage of natural disasters and powerful storms, portent of things to come. The set is impressive in scope, yet deceptively simple. Writers Theatre makes excellent use of the entire set as screens, projecting impressive, ever changing backdrops that add much to the production.
This production is not without humor, particularly with the infusion of cell phones and slogans "Make Rome Great Again". Yet it's true strength lies in the intensity. Caesar's death scene in slow motion with ribbons of blood was powerful and poetic, and the energy of the mob scenes is brilliant. Scott Parkinson (Adaptor, Director, Cassius), Kareem Bandealy (Brutus), Madrid St. Angelo (Julius Caesar), and Arya Daire (Portia/Decia/Soothsayer) are true standouts and masters at their craft. The cast more than does justice to Shakespeares' infamous, age old phrases, with timely relevance and modern storytelling techniques. Writers Theatre has given Chicago a gift with this stunning new adaptation. This is truly a must see for the fall season.