Arts & Culture » Arts

Rob Gallavan heads up stellar cast in stirring production of 'Julius Caesar'



cause he believes it to be in the best interest of Rome. It's really Brutus' play, and actor Rob Gallavan completely owns the role and the stage in every scene he's in. Gallavan takes a more naturalistic approach to the role making Brutus instantly relatable. He manages to convey the strength and moral conviction of the character while still retaining a degree of tenderness and vulnerability. It's the kind of performance that elevates the work of everyone else involved.

Going up against Gallavan's Brutus in multiple scenes and holding his own is Andi Dema as the manipulative Caius Cassius, a less-transparent character with questionable motives. Dema isn't afraid to let Cassius' flaws show through over the course of the play.

Paul Armstrong plays Caesar as a powerful man, but a man with fears and doubts "? far from the power-hungry dictator that he is accused of being by the conspirators that end his life. The choice to humanize him appropriately brings into to question the rightness of the conspirators' actions, and by killing him, how they forever destroy the Rome they sought to restore.

Chauncey Shillow as Mark Antony and Gerrin Mitchell as Octavius Caesar bring the right kind of strength and single-minded devotion to their characters. Shillow really shines during the scenes where he promises friendship to the conspirators, only to swear to destroy them as soon as he is alone with Caesar's body. Mitchell manages to convey the youth and inexperience of Octavius in subtle ways without making him come across as foolish.

Oklahoma Shakespeare veteran Hal Kohlman is a welcome addition to any production, always bringing a sense of class and literal stature to the stage as he towers over most of the other actors. Kohlman plays several roles in "Caesar," but his best moment is as Marcellus, who, at the beginning, chides a group of revelers for celebrating Caesar's return after defeating Pompey.

Christopher Curtis is a standout among the conspirators as Casca. As one of the first senators to join Cassius and Brutus, he shares some great scenes with them.

Lisa Houghton is fantastic in the small but pivotal role as the deceptive Decius Brutus, the senator who persuades Caesar to venture out to the Capitol on the Ides of March, against the protestations of his wife, Calpurnia.

This production is scaled back from the OSP's summer shows in terms of set, but good lighting and staging help to create the right amount of atmosphere, while keeping the focus squarely on the incredible work of the cast. With this production you get several, all under the sharp direction of Kathryn McGill, resulting in a truly great production that makes this all-too-short run of "Julius Caesar" one not to miss.

"?Eric Webb


Latest in Arts

Add a comment