Thursday, November 01, 2007

Titus Andronicus


Northwest Classical Theatre Co.
November 2 - November 18, 2007

November 17, 2007
Posted by Anton Ego

Uneven. Rachel Erickson, Kenichi Hillis, Grant Turner and newcomer Jon Sharpy are bright spots. Daniel Shaw's overacting is tiresome from the start. Joe Healy in the lead role comes and goes, but finishes strong. Badly blocked for arena seating - couldn't see some good moments. The pie was creepy as hell.

19 comments:

stu said...

I saw this play last week. A solid effort with what is, in my opinion, a very difficult piece of work.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous show. Perfect casting. Melissa Whitney's Lavinia could not be more beautiful. Only downside is that heart-throb Tom Walton had to play a creep. :( I heart Tom Walton.

Anonymous said...

Oh, don't even get me started on Tom Walton. I have got the BIGGEST crush on him. Sighhhh.

Anonymous said...

tom walton?? AAAAAHHH!!! HE IS SO CUTE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tom Walton = yum yum mmmm FINE!

Anonymous said...

Come on, you guys, take it outside. This is only slightly less irritating than the periodic outbreaks of nastiness on this blog, and probably equally likely to eventuate in a shutdown of open anonymous posting. You're certainly not doing NW Classical Theatre any favors by these shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

*LAUGHS*

Anonymous said...

AHEM. Can we get back to talking about the actual SHOW, people?? Sheesh. Now I thought Joe Healy did a great job as Titus. I heard that he was nervous about taking on such a large role, but he deserves kudos for his hard work and effort, which I thought most certainly paid off. No worries, Mr. Healy! You did just fine.

I remember seeing an old video of Patrick Stewart performing a speech from Titus, Act III, scene 1, I believe it was. And this girl (was it Lisa Farrow?) was playing Lavinia throughout his speech. Patrick Stewart was just phenomenal (Joe Healy's performance was almost comparable to Stewart's), but I was completely distracted the entire time by this annoying groaning sound that Lisa Farrow was making. And she would NOT shut up! It was most aggravating, and that speech has always been ruined for me. (I think this was on John Barton's Playing Shakespeare series). Thank heavens that Melissa Whitney's Lavinia was nice and quiet. Thus, we could actually ENJOY Titus' speech. This was one moment in the play that really touched me. Seeing Joe Healy raise his one good hand to heaven, while Melissa Whitney wept silently on his shoulder.... Just beautiful. It brought me almost to tears, I will admit.

Other than the two already-mentioned leads, I thought Kareem Hill's Aaron was perfectly evil, and Drammy Award-Winning Racheal Erickson was diabolically cunning and sexy as Tamora, a character that I depended on to be strong (I was not failed!). Grant Turner's Lucius was well played, and I thought that new-comer Jon Sharpy as Bassianus was surprisingly clear and easy to understand. Also, Robert Wyllie as all the filler roles was tremendously better than his Ferdinand in NWCTC's The Tempest last year. And we can't forget to mention Kenichi Hillis! He was fantastic, as usual.

Oh, and I APPLAUD Kenichi Hillis and Racheal Erickson for their bravery in eating Fred Walton's disgustingly realistic human pie at the end of the show. Ewwww...what's IN that thing?!??

Overall, I thought this was a very successful show and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, despite my normal dislike of this particular play.

What is this sudden outbreak of crushes on Tom Walton? He's been around for a loooong time, people. And I think we should try to focus on the fact that he is an impeccable ACTOR, not that he happens to be blessed with incredibly good looks (which, you should actually credit to Bibi Walton, Fred Walton, and God, if you get right down to it....)

Jeremy said...

I'm looking forward to seeing this show next week. From what I've heard from friends this show has all the things which has become the NWCTC's signature since their breakout production, last season's Henry V: strong ensemble, simple design and a clear and unpretentious delivery of the story. I've become a fan of this company's ensemble over the past few shows and haven't been let down yet.

Anonymous said...

but tom walton IS really hot. you have to admit.

Jamal Tucker said...

Regardless of his looks (which you are all sighing over, and it's getting VERY annoying), I will say that I think Tom Walton is an excellent actor. Though I AM frustrated that his bios for every show never say anything more than "He's a wanderer...yeah, yeah...woooooo." The curiosity of his past is killing me!!

I think this play was fantastic. I want to send a complimentary shout-out to every member of the cast - Racheal Erickson, Joe Healy, Kareem Hill, Kenichi Hillis, Sara Simon, Jon Sharpy, Grant Turner, Tom Walton, Melissa Whitney, and Robert Wyllie - you were all amazing! I had an evening well-spent.

I believe I am becoming addicted to this theatre company. Yikes - I've never been addicted to anything before.... NWCTC's shows are just too good!

(The free chocolates are an added bonus). ;)

P.S. I agree that SOME sort of I.D. should required for all posts, and so I am putting my name down: Jamal Tucker. I am a guy that loves to see local theater, after acting all over the country for 30 years. I am satisfied with almost all the shows I go see in this town, which is quite a rarity - everywhere else I've been, good local theater is scarce

Anonymous said...

dude, this play ROCKED!! especially that pie at the end...whoa....

Anonymous said...

Jamal Tucker, I agree. What is Tom Walton's past?!?? Argh!! Can anyone tell us? I'm dying to know....

I seriously think someone should corner Tom in a dark alley and force him to write a REAL bio. No joke...

TJ said...

this play was sick! but in a good way. great job by the actors. most of them really seemed to know their stuff and their characters were really very strong.

at first i was a bit distracted by the lead actor joe healy being too young for the character, but i soon forgot all about that. especially when he became really demented toward the end. great job!
racheal erickson and kareem hill were great villains and melissa witney was heartbreaking.

i was also impressed with grant turner, tom walton, kenichi hills, john sharpy, sara simon and robert wyllie.

and i agree with the people who posted above about the pie at the end. it was f***ing gross! but great to see.

barabbas said...

Not as consistent as some other shows of theirs I've seen but on the whole very good. Things I enjoyed; the pie, the hand cutting, discovering lavinia, the finale with the brother, son, and grandchild eulogizing titus. Less enthused about the costuming and on the whole I thought the stage was too brightly lit, but those are minor concerns. All in all, well directed and well performed.

lick'em said...

To Anton Ego: what show were you watchin' my man? NW Classical does not have an Arena stage, it is set in the 'round' or for lack of a better term 'in the rectangle.' In my honest opinion the blocking was fine for being in the round, there is always going to be blind spots. The worst seats were in the far endzone and one could have done only so much. But this show was mighty, strong and effectual. Very powerful performances only interrupted by occasional bursts of overacting by one or two actors playing supporting roles...All in all, very entertaining.

Anton Ego said...

From the Brittanica:

"Arena, or theater-in-the-round, staging needs only an open place with room for actors and audience. The playing space, surrounded by the audience, may be a circle 15 or 20 feet in diameter or a square or rectangle of comparable size. The actors use the aisles, usually four, for entrances and exits. "

http://student.britannica.com/comptons/article-208875/theater

Proper blocking for an arena setting would be to clear the actors as often as possible to the aisles (or "voms"). Northwest Classical normally does a good job with this. But all too often in Titus the actors were all clustered together in the center of the stage, not allowing for viewpoint access from anywhere in the house.

Marcus Andronicus is hardly a supporting role.

-AE

Tom said...

YAY! This is the kind of Northwest Classical thread I was looking forward to. Lets keep the tradition alive...

lick'em said...

Touche.

Well I'd call Marcus a supporting role, he wasn't the lead by any means. But I digress.

Regardless, I saw the play twice (from two different vantage points) and I see your point regarding the clustering...but the action called for that often times and it would have been difficult to have staged it in another fashion or to clear the actors to the aisles. Again, I see your point but the intimacy of the scenes often required the cluster even if it involved four or five people.

And I wouldn't say there wasn't viewpoint access from 'anywhere' on the stage at times; I still believe the far end was the area with the most blind spots, particularly at the end of the show when Titus and Tamora engaged in tit for tat. I just saw Rapine and Murder's backs but the language was enough to carry me through that moment.

Still it was a small enough annoyance that didn't get in my way of enjoying the show.