Matthew and I went to see Othello at the Shakespeare Tavern last night. We’ve seen a lot of Shakespeare–regularly attended the Illinois Shakespeare Festival for as long as we’ve been together, hit shows in Chicago, San Fran, etc.–but we have yet to see a company perform Shakespeare as well as the folks here. Their R&J was the absolute best version we’ve ever seen–and we must have seen dozens of R&Js–and their Merry Wives was amazing. I laughed so hard, I thought I’d split something. But, having said that, Othello was not their strongest performance. Actually, I’d even say it was the weakest Shakespeare play (they did a few productions not written by ole Bill which I just don’t clump into the same category) this season. Ah well. I suspect it’s a shortcoming of the play or perhaps they didn’t put as much effort into it as their other performances. Othello isn’t one of our favorites either. I did see hints of their trademark deep character/plot interpretation in Iago. They managed to insert drops and splashes of implication that Iago’s actions were spurred by his repressed sexual attraction to Othello as well as some secret interest in Desdemona. But it wasn’t enough to carry the production.
I’m pleased to say that even a not-so-great performance at the Tavern is still enjoyable, though. And I love their food! We had dragon noodles for an appetizer and shared their vegetarian shepherd’s pie and sun-dried tomato with brie sandwich for our main course. Yummy.
Next month, Comedy of Errors. Getting season tickets to the Tavern was one of the best entertainment investments we’ve made. Definitely gonna renew them next year.