I am on cloud nine. I must say this is definitely a summer highlight. This summer is turning out to be the best one yet! I was lucky enough to see the talented & sexy Blair Underwood in Shakespeare’s Othello at the Old Globe theater in Sand Diego. Was the 2 hour drive worth it. Hell yes! No words. No words. I loved it! I went with two of friends and because the production had been selling out we had separate seats yet we all had the same reaction. We all loved Iago played by Richard Thomas. He was evil, he was a sociopath, yet he had charm and that’s what made this performance work for me. You knew he was bad to the bone, no remorse. Yet his charm took the edge of, so I didn’t hate him, what Iago did yes, but I was thrilled by it, intrigued even.
Also performance to note the Amelia played by Angela Reid. My god her last scene, the one between her and Othello. The woman was on fire. She killed it. Passion, passion, passion. But for her entire performance was noteworthy. She had a point of view at all times. I knew how she felt about Iago, I knew how she felt about his feelings for her. I knew how she felt about Desdemona. She was great. I loved her.
And then there was Othello. Yes Blair Underwood. Dreadlocks, white shirt (unbuttoned), accent, sword. Need I say more, and I haven’t even gotten to his acting. First of all his voice, the entire cast actually, such strong voices. He had so much swagger, his energy he commanded the stage yet he was never out of breath. His Othello was sexy, powerful, confident. Did I believe he loved Desdemona oh yes. Did I believe he felt betrayed, abused, made a fool of. Yes I believed him through and through. From the moment we first encounter Othello he enters the room. He commands the stage and you know he knows he is “the king”. One of my favorite scenes was between he and Desdemona as he is asking her for the handkerchief. He went from tender, to seductive to angry, to menacing, it was such a great moment. And then of course for me his climax when he kills Desdemona and then the moment he realizes what has happened. I loved that moment as well.
But what a testament to Shakespeare’s writing. This was my first experience of Othello in it’s entirety. I had seen scenes from it in class and had watched bits of the great Maggie Smith’s performance, but i had not actually seen the full play. So I am grateful that this was my first experience with it because it was indeed a thrilling one. You won’t be able to see this performance but if you have a chance to go to the Old Globe do so it is such a gorgeous venue.