OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Easy to hail contemporay 'Julius Caesar' at Navy Pier

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-02-15T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Easy to hail contemporay 'Julius Caesar' at Navy PierPhilip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Chicago Shakespeare Theater has perfect timing for the new run of its contemporary retelling of William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," staged by acclaimed British director Jonathan Munby in his Chicago debut.

It continues until March 24 in the transformed main Courtyard Theater, which boasts impressive faux marble grand steps and columns. And since much of the story plot of "Julius Caesar" includes The Ides of March, which is March 15, this is a perfect run schedule for the remarkable two and a half hour play, which includes one 20 minute intermission.

The production features a celebrated company of artists that includes Jeff Award-winning Chicago actor David Darlow, very stoic in the title role, Canada's Stratford Festival favorite Dion Johnstone, who is powerful as Marc Antony, New York stage and screen actor Jason Kolotouros as the angry and eager Caius Cassius and British actor John Light in a formidable and very believable turn as Marcus Brutus.

The production also welcomes the return of veteran CST actors David Lively as Ligarius/Lepidus, Barbara E. Robertson transformed as Calphurnia and the always spell-binding Larry Yando as Casca.

Also look for wistful McKinley Carter as the foreboding soothsayer.

British director Munby is making his Chicago debut following his celebrated work in the UK at the Donmar Warehouse, Shakespeare's Globe and Royal Shakespeare Company

In a modern staging of Shakespeare's political thriller, Munby envisions Julius Caesar through the lens of contemporary culture, drawing striking parallels with today's political landscape. Masterfully presented, audiences will notice a scattering of cell phones and recognizable symbols of today visually punctuating the classic lines,  written by The Bard.

Munby's creative team for Julius Caesar includes Scenic Designer Alexander Dodge who creates a visually stunning stage landscape, while costume designer Ilona Somogyi makes a Chicago Shakespeare debut, (as does Dodge.) The design team also includes returning Lighting Designer Philip S. Rosenberg, returning Composer and Sound Designer Lindsay Jones, resident Wig and Make-up Designer Melissa Veal and resident Properties Master Chelsea Meyers.

Tickets are on sale now for $48 to $78 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more, as well as CST for $20 tickets available for patrons under 35. All patrons receive a 40 percent discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. Additionally, Navy Pier is offering $10 parking after 5 p.m through March 17, 2013. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at (312) 595-5600 or visit the Theater’s website at chicagoshakes.com.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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