By Keith Tomasek, January 23, 2020
If you saw the 2013 Stratford Festival production of “Othello” you witnessed Chris Abraham’s first Shakespeare at the festival. Dion Johnstone’s portrayal of Othello received rave reviews (click for reviews) and the duo have teamed up for “Julius Caesar” at Crow’s Theatre in Toronto.
Below is a collection of the reviews.
Toronto Star – Karen Fricker
“The heart of this production is the relationship between Moya O’Connell’s Cassius (a usually male role, here played as female) and Dion Johnstone’s Brutus. O’Connell convinces completely as an obsessive political creature, shrewdly working on the softer-hearted Brutus to halt Caesar’s rise.”
Globe and Mail – J. Kelly Nestruck
“Johnstone, returning to Canada after his Broadway debut in King Lear last spring, gives us a Brutus who definitely thinks he’s the noblest man in the room, but is, clearly, naive from head to toe.
Cushman Collected – Robert Cushman
“Dion Johnstone, thoughtful and bespectacled, is a fine Brutus whose principles visibly crumble even as he persuades himself that he still has them. Moya O’Connell plays Cassius more for spitfire envy than for twisted idealism (Caesar was right about that too); their temptation duet, rigorously charted with she feeling out his weak spots and feasting on them, shows the production at its best.”
Stage Door – Christopher Hoile
“Dion Johnstone impresses us as one of the finest Shakespearean actors of his generation. …Johnstone’s intellectual Brutus believes he can separate Caesar’s flaw of ambition from all his well-known virtues and make that the justifiable cause for assassinating him. Yet, anyone with greater experience of the world should know that virtues and vices are not well compartmentalized in human beings.”
The Slotkin Letter – Lynn Slotkin
“Caesar is played by a formidable Jim Mezon—bullet-headed, laser stare and knows how to block a person from leaving his presence. In the last scene, Mezon reacts with total stillness which makes him riveting and devastating when he utters the last two words—and no I won’t tell you what they are.”
NOW Magazine – José Teodoro
“Shakespeare’s bloody study of populist hubris, conspiring elites and civil war is resurrected with imagination, intelligence and brio in this co-production from Groundling Theatre Company and Crow’s Theatre.”
Groundling Theatre Company &
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Chris Abraham
Jan 7 – Feb 2, 2020
Purchase tickets online