Titus Andronicus OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Kalle Westerling
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 22, 2015
    Closing:
    February 8, 2015

    Theater: HERE Arts Center / 145 Ave. of Americas, New York, NY, 10013

    Synopsis: 

    The war is over and the heroes have returned, but the fighting is far from over. Riots break out in the streets of Rome as the people call for a free election and an end to the imperial rule. Only the ascent of celebrated general Titus Andronicus will satisfy their democratic demands. But, when Titus refuses the crown, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. Forget everything you know about Titus Andronicus. NY Shakespeare Exchange Founding Artistic Director, Ross Williams brings Shakespeare's notorious war-mongering tragedy to brilliant life as it's never been seen before. Viewed through a uniquely contemporary American lens, this Titus will punch you in the gut and leave you panting for relief.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Titus Andronicus

    Don’t Ask the Royal Cook for Any Pie Recipes

    Anita Gates

    February 2, 2015: How many times can the poor red-nosed Clown be killed? In New York Shakespeare Exchange’s electric production of Titus Andronicus, at Here, the Clown (Kerry Kastin) is fatally stabbed repeatedly, standing in for several doomed characters. One of them is the nurse forced to announce that the white emperor’s white wife has just given birth to a black child. (Yes, that’s the way Shakespeare wrote that subplot in the 1500s.) In the Shakespearean canon, Titus Andronicus is singular: It’s the one in which the queen finds out that the main ingredient in the meat pie she’s eating is her sons. It’s the one with the most gore. The program credits a fight choreographer (Alicia Rodis), as well as someone in charge of “violence design” (Cassie Dorland). But the characters who commit these murders, rapes and mutilations (which are blessedly stylized in this staging) have their reasons. Titus (the excellent Brendan Averett), a beloved Roman general just home from war with the Goths, makes his first mistake by refusing to become emperor. That job belongs to Saturninus (Vince Gatton), he insists. Saturninus repays him by announcing that he will marry Titus’ radiant daughter, Lavinia (Kate Lydic). When Saturninus’ cute younger brother, Bassianus (Adam Kezele), reminds everyone that he’s already engaged to Lavinia, Saturninus says, O.K., I’ll just marry this glamorous prisoner of war that Titus has brought me: Tamora, Queen of the Goths (the fabulous Gretchen Egolf).

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