Off-Off-Broadway's Judith Shakespeare Company is celebrating its fifth season by reviving, and playing in rep, two of its past successes: Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors. The latter was the troupe's first production, and the former is perhaps its best known, given its central gimmick of reversing the genders of all the major characters. Thus, Caesar, Brutus, Cassius and Marc Anthony are all played by women; while Portia is played by a man.
The productions which began June 25, will end on July 22.
This rendition of the classic tragedy was seen last year at the Mint Theatre Off-Broadway. The Mint will again be the site of the re-mounting. In the cast are Jennifer Chudy (Brutus), Jane Titus (Cassius), Alice M. Gatling (Anthony), Richard Simon (Portia) and Antonio del Rosario (Calpurnia). (Chudy and Simon will have their hands full keeping their roles straight. In addition to being man and wife in the play, they are married in real life; furthermore, they played Brutus and Portia in a traditionally-cast Caesar only recently. How many male-female couples can argue over whose Brutus was better?)
The Comedy of Errors will star Kevin LeCaon, Leese Walker, James Pinkowski, Susan Beyer, Ginny Hack and Kelli Cruz.
The Judith Shakespeare Company debuted in May 1995 and has presented Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Molly Louise Shepard's Tabula Rasa and All's Well That Ends Well. The company is dedicated to the re-examination and reinterpretation of women's roles in classcal theatre. Tickets are $15. The Mint Space Is located at 311 West 43rd Street. For information, call the box office at (212) 592-1885.
--By Robert Simonson