Last night, we saw the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of Julius Caesar. Set in a modern-day political landscape, complete with a varied and fickle crowd of demonstrators, a slick man-of-the-hour, conspiracies, betrayals, and patriotism both heartfelt and jingoistic, it was one of the most intense and brilliant nights of theater I have seen in a long time.
Having not seen or read the play in quite some time, it was astonishing to hear how many lines and characters were not a bit outdated after hundreds of years – the flatterers that surround a public figure, the egomaniac whose over-confidence is his downfall, the intense naysayer, the noble opponent, the feckless citizens whose support sways with the slightest breeze. What a reminder of how brilliantly Shakespeare mirrored the human condition – and of how a creative vision can resonate in so many ways.
Having access to productions like this is one of the reasons I love living in Chicago. If you are anywhere near the area, you should definitely make an effort to see it. (All photos are taken from the CST website chicagoshakes.com)