Timon of Athens

Photo courtesy Greg Eident Photography.

From l, Charles Pasternak, Thomas Bigley, Sean Faye, and Eliza Kiss in “Timon of Athens.”

Money has made the world go around since the beginning of commerce. Although the play is based on Timon the Misanthrope, its theme and allegories are as relevant today as they were 200 C.E.

The Porters of Hellsgate always do a splendid job of interpreting the text and addressing it into a modern context. Although not one of Shakespeare’s better-known works, Timon of Athens is still potent and entertaining.

This is a story of Timon (an always excellent Thomas Bigley), a wealthy merchant (think of a sweet-natured and benevolent Donald Trump) who bestows friends and colleagues alike with expensive gifts. To Timon, the well will never run dry. He is warned by his servant Flavius (Sean Faye) and by philosopher Apemantus (an engaging Cynthia Beckert) to curb his generosity.

Of course, the money runs out, and with that, his friends. Timon asks for help, but gets none. He has no solace, and thus becomes a hermit, who lives out in nature. He is fortune’s fool and finds gold, much to the satisfaction of his friends, who continue to ask for donations. Timon now curses them as he doles out his “inheritance.”

The story is set in the present day, but methinks that the epitome setting is the glut and wealth that was Reaganomics of the ‘80s. The production features music and dance which always brings a sense of vigor. Director Charles Pasternak brings this challenging opus to life by allowing the cast to shine. Angela Sauer as Lucullus almost stole the show.

“If a mirror turned inward, are you the lender or borrower be?”

Highly recommended.

Timon of Athens runs through June 2 at the Actors Forum Theatre located at 10655 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets call (818) 325-2055, email portersofhellsgate@gmail.com, or visit brownpapertickets.com.

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