The Old Globe kicks off its Shakespeare Festival season with Othello, a classic tragedy that is worth seeing, especially with the leads performed by top actors.
Richard Thomas is fantastic in the role of Iago, who betrays Othello, played by Blair Underwood. Mr. Thomas exudes such a wicked aura that one becomes in awe of his character as he goes to great lengths to destroy the Moor of Venice for naming Cassio as the top lieutenant instead of Iago himself. Filled with anger and jealousy, Iago, the master manipulator, convinces Othello that his wife, Desdemona (Kristen Connolly), is being unfaithful with Cassio, which sends Othello in a downward spiral.
Although Mr. Underwood’s Moorish accent sounded as if he were part of a Reggae band, his overall performance was dramatic and filled with emotional energy.
Like most Shakespeare plays in the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, the set is simplified, allowing the actors to make use of the entire stage. The design of a corrugated foiled wall closing in on Othello as the play progresses is a creative aspect.
In the end, as Othello realizes his insecurities lead to his downfall, one can’t help but despair that Othello couldn’t see through Iago’s lies.