Oh, I wish my friend Tim Siragusa could have seen this production! Directed by Mark Jackson, who has a wonderful way of infusing shows with imagination, humor, darkness and an almost commedia-style of physicality, this show at the Aurora is right up Tim’s alley. Like much of Tim’s latest work (look at me saying Tim is the new Oscar Wilde!), there’s a modern-day Greek chorus, heightened language, gorgeous repetition of key images, moments of high camp, moments of low humor. Fan-freaking-tastic! I was riveted.
Ron Campbell plays King Herod. If you saw him in last year’s THOUSAND NIGHTS playing about thirty different characters, you know he has a mesmerizing presence and an amazing capability of turning on a dime. Put that all into one character and you can’t take your eyes off the guy. But the rest of the cast is wonderful, as well. Miranda Calderon stalks around the stage as an immensely captivating Salome. Julia Brothers, who I know from PlayGround, is dead-on perfect as Queen Herodias; reminds me of how Judi Dench won an Oscar for seven minutes as Queen Elizabeth — she doesn’t have a ton to do but her character is alive every second she’s on stage.
This show has been getting rave reviews with no one having a single bad thing to say; it’s been sold out since the first week; and they’ve been adding performances anywhere they can, including, I think, Tuesday matinees. I’m really glad I got a chance to see it, and I wish I could have flown Tim in to see it, as well. But he’ll have to content himself with being name-checked in this hugely-popular blog.