ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, the smart production by NEW MATCH COLLECTIVE is a highly entertaining version of the play highlighting the petty political battles between people whose love for power keeps them all hopelessly entwined in both love and war.
Cleopatra and Antony are in love with each other, but they also both love their individual power and glory. When Antony is called back to Rome to take care of his responsibilities, and deal with other powerful Romans equally set on staying in charge the stakes are raised and it proves true the saying that “all is fair in love and war.”
Cleopatra (Joy Yvonne Jones) and Antony (Andrea Acuna) are the title characters and they bring all of the fire, passion, and cunning these two characters require. Jones is excellent as the regal if mercurial Queen of Egypt, she’s is imperious and charismatic. Acuna as Antony, more than matches Jones with her calculating and commanding portrayal of the Roman general.
Political deception and betrayals abound in this play, and the Antony choses to war (because that’s always proven to solve everything) but when he loses a battle he denounces Cleopatra, in anger. She decides to win back his love by pretending she has killed herself, his name upon her lips as she lays dying. (Please add Drama Queen to her titles).
The play is supported by a strong ensemble of Kandace Crystal, Nicki Browne, Nicole Riedel, Carrie Kirtz, Elizabeth Priest, Christina Aphaivong, and Lexi Vierra. Standouts include Crystal as Octavius, Nicole Riedel as Pompey, and Browne as Enobarbus.
Director Jasmin Haddad cleverly directs this production away from the heavy drama and over emphasized romance that has become the norm for this show. Instead it explores all of the relationships in the show; petty politics, personal vanity, and the power struggles between them all. This allows for a sassier vein of humor to appear that captures the ridiculousness of all of these people who believe themselves to be better than all the rest.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, performing through July 21st by New Match Collective brings to admirable life a Shakespeare show that is not as frequently done, get your ticket before it’s gone.
For ticket and show time information go to www.tinyurl.com/antandcleotix