Saturday, July 5, 2014

Portland Actor's Ensemble Anthony and Cleopatra

This was a much more elaborate set than I am used to with PAE.  Here is--you guessed it--Egypt.

We were sitting on the Rome side, so you can't see it quite as well.

These weights will become important later on in this post.

Though Rome was much more stark than Egypt, I did love these columns.

And the costumes!  Amazing! Kate Schroeder did a tremendous job.  The lady in the pink, mid-stage is Andrea White playing Cleopatra.

The music also added a lot to the play.  Behind the musician, you can see the stark grey of the Romans.  They had a really cool logo on their shirt.

That guy on the right is Enrique E. Andrade and, in addition to playing Mardian, he's also the Spanish Language voice of the Max train.

Again!  The costumes!

Here is the stage manager, who spent a lot of time wrestling with this part of the set, trying to get it to stay upright.

At times she had others assist her, including one dramatic moment when her quiet "Help!" brought several audience members to her assistance, before the actors could emerge from the tent.

Cleopatra had a lot of costume changes and here appears in a blue dress.

You can see a bit of the cool design on the t-shirt.

I'll say it again!  Costumes!

And another one.  I think this was my favorite, because the skirt was mesmerizing.

At the correct moment in the play, the drums of war were beaten.  It was very dramatic, and my favorite part that didn't involve costumes or music.

The moon overlooking the set.  At one point, one of the characters swears to the moon and it was handy that the moon had arranged itself in just the right location for doing so.
This is not my favorite play of Mr. Shakespeare.  I did enjoy the costumes and the music, as well as some of the stage direction.  The director, Elizabeth Huffman (who has directed shows for NWCTC) made the decision to have all the Egyptians speak with an accent while the Romans spoke without accents.  I found this incredibly distracting for the entirety of the play.  Also, I've never heard so many actors tripping over their lines.  This was their eighth performance, so I'm not sure what was going on.  Overall though, I enjoyed myself.


Sara K. said...

The costumes and make-up are amazing. Very detailed and intricate. I love that there was a strong contrast between the Romans and the Egyptians. It is a very nice stylistic direction to go. Too bad about the falling over stage pieces.

balyien said...

The costumes really are fantastic! Since you go to a lot of these, do you end up seeing the same actors? If so, do you have any favorites?

Patricia said...

We do see a lot of the same actors, although it seems fewer this year than other years. I think there was one commonality in this production and one in the recent performance of Midsummer. Sometimes I recognize them and spend time trying to figure out where I saw them, sometimes I read the program at intermission and realize that I've seen them before.

It's fun to see the same actors in different contexts and over years.

Also, it was a joint PAE/Northwest Classical Theater Company production that got us to start going to NWCTC on a regular basis, so I have a soft spot in my heart for PAE.