Coriolanus

Seattle Shakespeare's production effectively contemporizes the tale of professional warrior Caius Martius (later dubbed "Coriolanus," magnificently played like a smashed-up quarterback by hulking David Drummond) who wins status on the battlefield but can't win the hearts of common citizens who resent his arrogance in the midst of a corn crisis. Here the rabble resemble the 99-percenters of OWS, right down to their grunge fashions and waving placards. There's a lot of intrigue to keep track of (clarified by extensive program notes and a new voiceover introduction), but the story feels so timely that's it's worth the investment. Director David Quicksall casts strong, dynamic actors in the principal roles--including the radiantly noxious Therese Diekhans as Coriolanus' bloodthirsty and power-hungry mother. Her manipulative, conditional love for Coriolanus drives him into rebellious alliance with Tullus Aufidius (Mike Dooly). The two soldiers' bond has some nicely directed hints of a homosexual dynamic; they prefer sweatily sparring together to politics. When Coriolanus the despised killing machine finally dies, the sound of waves promises to both carry him out to sea and bring him back again in an endless tide cycle of violence. And indeed he will return: Ralph Fiennes' new movie adaption opens February 3. (7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. plus some Sundays; see website for schedule. Ends Jan. 29.) MARGARET FRIEDMAN [See Margaret's full review.]

Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 5. Continues through Jan. 29, 2012

 
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