A raised platform sits center stage before us surrounded by wispy, billowy curtains. This seemingly simple set changes smoothly from one scene to the next allowing the actors and Shakespeare’s text to take center stage. Babes With Blades brings OTHELLO to life packing it with drama and heart wrenching tragedy.
Babes With Blades True Take
Babes With Blades takes their production of OTHELLO down a traditional path. No modern interpretation of the language to be found here as they perform the original Shakespearean text.
It is an all-female cast that delivers this text and lead us down the tragedy of OTHELLO. We leave with the army to defend Cyprus against the Turks under the command of Othello.
They weave us through Iago’s web of lies and manipulations right to the end where everyone has fallen into his trap.
And they take us down Othello’s spiral of doubt as he feels he can no longer trust his men or his wife.
Joy, Love, and Charm
OTHELLO starts out happily enough with everyone singing Othello’s praises. Othello played by Brianna Buckley and Sarah Liz Bell as Desdemona bask in their newly wedded bliss and can’t seem to keep their hands off each other.
Meredith Ernst’s bold and suave Cassio comes in with the charm and a smile to always have the audience on her side.
However when things start to take a downturn, the cast adeptly follows suit.
Chilling and Tragic
Kathrynne Wolf’s Iago changes between humble and faithful soldier of Othello to a cunning and plotting mastermind in the blink of an eye. Not to mention she also captures and plays upon the wittiness of the character.
But nothing is more chilling than Buckley and Bell’s performances at Desdemona’s death. Bell’s rendition of “The Willow Song” echoes mournfully throughout the theatre. And Buckley’s cries of anguish as she realizes Desdemona’s innocence threaten to burst through the theater walls.
Babes With Blades production of OTHELLO is a good fit for anyone who is a Shakespeare fan as they deliver the bard’s word with ease and passion. If you’re not one for classic Shakespeare this might not be the best fit for you.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO, where it will remain until the end of the run. Click here to read – Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Sarah Liz Bell
Mary Eliza Willingham
Mignon McPherson Stewart
Now through May 25, 2019
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 3pm
The Factory Theater
1623 W. Howard St.
About the Author
Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.
Editor's Note: Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski