Shakespeare's political tragedy, Coriolanus, opens at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC. Jan. 24, following previews that began Jan. 18.
Cited as one of the last plays Shakespeare wrote, the drama is set in ancient Rome during a terrible famine, and explores the rise of war hero Coriolanus to politician and, finally, enemy of the state.
Artistic director Michael Kahn helms a staging featuring Andrew Long in the title role, Sheila Allen as the leader's ruthless, ambitious mother, Volumnia, and Keith Hamilton Cobb as Tullus Aufidius, the Volscian general.
Designers Walt Spangler (scenic), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Robert Perry (lighting) create a world that suggests fascist pre-World War II under Mussolini's rule. Music is by Louis Rosen.
Performances continue to March 12. The Shakespeare Theatre is at 450 7th Street NW. Tickets are $14-$58. Call (202) 547-1122 or visit the website at www.shakespearedc.org. *
Coming up at The Shakespeare: The Country Wife by William Wycherley, directed by Keith Baxter, and Tennessee Williams' Camino Real, directed by Michael Kahn.
-- By Kenneth Jones