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Led by an excellent ensemble cast, Antony and Cleopatra asks as many questions as it sheds blood. Jonathan Cake and Joaquina Kalukango are magnificent in their title roles in a production that focuses more on gender roles (especially in regard to love) than it does on foreign diplomacy. Tarell Alvin McCraney has directed a classical production of Antony and Cleopatra with none of the twists that we have seen in recent Shakespearean productions like Pig Iron's Twelfth Night or the all male Globe versions of Richard III and there is something wonderful about a seldom produced, complex Shakespearean play acted brilliantly by trained actors. As with any Shakespearean play, the demand on the audience is increased but so is the rewards and this play introduces questions of morality, politics, and patriarchy that should lead to excellent dinner conversation afterwards.
In an exciting international collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and GableStage, Miami, The Public welcomes back writer/director Tarell Alvin McCraney (The Brother/Sister Plays) as its new artist in residence with ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
At the fringes of a war-torn empire, a man and a woman have fallen desperately, passionately in love. But for a soldier set to enforce the imperial will and the queen intent on throwing off the yoke of the empire, there is no place for personal desire.
McCraney creates a stripped down new version of Shakespeare’s gripping story of romance set against a world of imperial politics and power play and transports us to 18th century, sun-soaked Saint-Domingue on the eve of revolution.