Stage production of Shakespeare’s ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ adds music to story of history’s most infamous couple

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They were star-crossed lovers but decided to deceive fate. They were powerful, charismatic persons and could have changed the destiny of the world, but ignored convention and let it slip through their fingers.  They are Antony and Cleopatra, history’s most infamous couple.

William Shakespeare may have taken liberties with the story, but one thing is for certain, Tony and Cleo truly loved each other.

Director Gloria Gifford also took some liberties with the script by infusing popular songs into the story that adds an interesting and at times spectacular rendition of the work. What is presented is a musical interpretation of the Bard’s work more palpable for modern audiences.

The staging and blocking were in synch and conveyed a confident director who is purposeful with her vision.

This is a love story that follows the usual parameters of love and lust, jealousy and rejection, remorse and finally, redemption…of sorts.

Lucy Walsh as Cleopatra imbued the sexuality and regality that men feared and women wanted. She proudly took center stage, expressing some of the nuances of the character. Jade Warner as her confidant Charmain conveyed a sweet girlishness tempered with an astute understanding of the situation at hand. Haile D’Alan was fantastic as Enobarbus, pity he didn’t have more stage time.

A point of interest is the play itself. It does not fit comfortably into a tragedy, or a history; it is a story unto itself.

Kudos to the production team’s creative and entertaining treatment of a classic story that is sure to entice audiences young and old.

Recommended.

“Antony and Cleopatra” is staged through Saturday, December 30 at Gray Studios located at 5250 Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood. Call (310) 366-5505 or visit Tix.com.  

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