By Bob Evans
Get ready for rapid-fire Shakespeare’s most celebrated and politically charged tragedy, “Julius Caesar” performed by Timothy Mooney on the Jerome Stage of The Unicorn Theatre for the Kansas City Fringe Festival.
Timing is perfect for the Shakespeare tragedy of an over-reaching emperor of the Roman Empire as told by the Bard of the Renaissance. With 15 centuries between the actual events and the plays writing, who’s to contend the accuracy of Shakespeare’s play. Caesar ruled as a dictator as his armies reached further and further to support his coffers and expand the Roman rule. The play depicts the errors of Caesar’s ways and the conspiracy to end his ambitious campaign.
This performance needs to be filmed and sold to school districts nationwide to save students from struggling through seemingly endless hours of reading Shakespeare’s prose aloud and understand the play or it’s significance. This pared-down recitation strips away much of The Bard’s poetry but preserves enough to keep the action moving and the story interesting and compelling. Some of Shakespeare’s prose is preserved and some many familiar lines remain in the presentation. But, the difference is that stripped down, students and adults re-discover the story, the assassination plot, and the far-reaching effects of Caesar’s death.
Mooney races through the piece with accuracy and sweat. He’s well-prepared, focused, and magnificent in his performance. A projector helps visualize the Roman Empire in Caesar’s time and also creates audience participation as they shout the words needed to create the crowd scenes.
The audience participation adds a fun element to the tragedy. The show continues on the Jerome Stage of The Unicorn Theatre for the 2017 Kansas City Fringe Festival.
Tags: “Breakneck Julius Caesar”, The Unicorn Theatre, KC Fringe Festival 2017, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment, Kansas City Theater