Wednesday, March 27, 2013

White Hot Coriolanus

Back from the Shakespeare Theatre Company's IDR for Coriolanus at Sidney Harman Hall, and it's a stunning production.

As the ferocious warrior-aristocrat-traitor, Patrick Page is part Russell Crowe in Gladiator, part Alan Rickman in Die Hard, and part James Cagney in White Heat--the latter most especially brought to mind in scenes with mother Volumnia, who is played with Luponesque Mama Rose intensity by Diane D'Aquila.

I'm continuing my love affair with local stagecraft and singing praises of this production's costumes (designed by Murell Horton) and of the battle scenes evoked by a "chorus" of drummers (fight director  is Rick Sordelet; lead drummer and percussion coach is Philip Dickerson).

The IDR program is a plain-vanilla handout without actor bios; the only name I recognized from previous productions was Nick Dillenburg, one of "Two Gents" (Proteus) who in Coriolanus is one of the two tribunal representatives of the Roman citizens. Oddly, this character is played as kind of a nerd; Dillenburg is listed as an understudy for Coriolanus, pretty much the opposite. Well, having seen his bloody Proteus, I think Nick can handle it if Page wears himself out from his white-hot performance.

STC is pushing heavily for audiences to see both Coriolanus and their production of Schiller's Wallenstein, in a dramaturgical consideration of the "hero-traitor." My IDR friend is seeing the Wall but I'm giving it a pass. Seeing both in the same week as my forthcoming visit with Dolly at Ford's is just too much cognitive dissonance. Or something.

Coriolanus, previews March 28, opens April 9, 2013
directed by David Muse
Set designer: Blythe R.D. Quinlan
Lighting designer: Mark McCullough

Caius Martius, later Coriolanus: Patrick Page
Volumnia (his mother): Diane D'Aquila
Virgilia (his wife): Aaryn Kopp
Young Martius (his son): Hunter Zane
Menenius Aggripa: Robert Sicular
Cominius: Steve Pickering
Titus Lartius: Nick Dillenburg
Junius Brutus: Philip Goodwin
Sicinius Velutus: Derrick Lee Weeden
Tullus Aufidius: Reginald Andre Jackson

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