22 January 2012

Shakespeare, with Football Player

Last night i watched Julius Caesar at Belmont's Troutt Theater, put on by the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.  Eddie George, Heisman Trophy winner, ex-Titan running back, etc, played Julius Caesar.  Yeah, really!  And just in case you haven't read or seen the play, there will be spoilers. 

Now, i've read Caesar.  I'm not sure why it's one of the ones they teach high school students as I don't know there is much they would relate to.  Having read it, i knew that it is really about Brutus, that Caesar isn't in it very much.  There's a lot of scheming behind his back so he's not onstage and then he dies halfway through.  So knowing that I didn't expect too much from Eddie George.  I was really pleasantly surprised.  He really projected leadership and strength and confidence.  Having Caesar be so physically imposing (George is like 6' 4" and broader than any other actor on stage) certainly made you feel like he was a warrior and a leader of soldiers.  A review, i can't find it now of course, mentioned that this was the first time they'd seen the play and really thought Ceasar was going to escape.  I went with a friend and he said "I'm not sure those guys could have really taken him down".  

Brian Webb Russell played Brutus.  I've seen him as Prospero in The Tempest and last year as Shakespeare in Shakespeare's Case.  He's quite talented and did a great job.  On the other side of the conflict, Marc Anthony was played by Eric Pasto-Crosby.  The funeral speech really has to be done right and he scored a touchdown on it!  This is a play where most of the cast dies in the end, and most of them are the bad guys, and i still cried.  definitely a 6.


Summer Shakespeare is going to be Much Ado About Nothing, one of my faves, set in 1940's US, with the men returning from WWII.  very fun sounding and i can't wait!

Publicity Photo by Jeff Frazier, pulled from the Nashville Shakespeare Festival's website

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