Jonathan Cake and Joaquina Kalukango Will Be Antony and Cleopatra at the Public
By Adam Hetrick
Jonathan Cake and Joaquina Kalukango will star as Antony and Cleopatra in the new production of Shakespeare's work, directed and edited by Tarell Alvin McCraney, which will begin performances Feb. 18, 2014, at the Public Theater.
Cake (Medea, "Desperate Housewives") will star as Mark Antony opposite Kalukango (Emotional Creature, Hurt Village) as Cleopatra. Presented by The Public Theater, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Miami's GableStage, the play premieres at the RSC Nov. 7-30, prior to a Miami engagement Jan. 11-Feb. 9, 2014, and the New York bow, which will run through March 23, 2014.
According to the Public, McCraney "has radically edited the play and set it in the late 1700s against the backdrop of Saint-Domingue, on the eve of the Haitian Revolution against the French, bringing to light vivid historical parallels with the story of Antony and Cleopatra."
The cast of UK and American actors also includes Charise Castro-Smith (Octavia, Iras), Ian Lassiter (Agrippa, Thyreus), Chivas Michael (Mardian, Eros, Soothsayer), Henry Stram (Lepidus, Proculeius), Samuel Collings (Octavius), Ash Hunter (Pompey, Alexas, Scarus), Chukwudi Iwuji (Enobarbus) and Sarah Niles (Charmian, Menas).
The production will have scenic design by Tom Piper, lighting design by Stephen Strawbridge, music composed by Michael Thurber and movement direction by Gelan Lambert.
McCraney's The Brothers Size premiered at The Public's Under the Radar Festival in 2006 and was followed by a Public Lab production in 2007. His complete trilogy, The Brother/Sister Plays (comprising In the Red and Brown Water, The Brothers Size and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet) was produced at The Public in 2009. His plays also include Choir Boy, Wig Out and Head of Passes.
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