ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (A NOISE WITHIN): 72% – BITTERSWEET

"Antony and Cleopatra" at A Noise Within. Credit: Craig Schwartz.

BITTERSWEET
Fast-paced and chaotic, A Noise Within’s production plays up the comedy and passions of its star-crossed lovers at the expense of its dramatic civil war plotline, in which Antony’s loyalties are split between his Egyptian mistress and his country.
Pauline Adamek – LA Weekly

SWEET
Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott have achieved a frequently enthralling production driven by two stellar lead performances and a viscerally exciting look and feel. Despite occasional lapses in pacing, this is an intellectually stimulating and visually appealing take on the classic tragedy.
Les Spindle – Backstage

BITTER
Ultimately, we end up without lovers or a love story to get excited about or involved with.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA

SWEET
And for those of us who were underwhelmed by A Noise Within’s first two productions in Pasadena last fall, Antony and Cleopatra is the long-awaited show that clearly justifies the move and its surrounding hoopla.
Don Shirley – LA Stage Watch

BITTER
This Noises Within production had style but no substance. Sitting through and watching this production was a gruelling experience for me.
Sanjini Bhakta – LASplash

BITTERSWEET
A Noise Within’s Antony and Cleopatra is an entertaining, though flawed, production.
Barnaby Hughes – Stage and Cinema

SWEET
Under the direction of Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, the production was vivid and engaging.
Elyse Cook – Stagehappenings

SWEET
Actress Susan Angelo is captivating and sensuous as the domineering Cleopatra that craves power as much as her lover Antony played by Geoff Elliot.
Jennifer Fordyce – LifeInLA

SWEET
But A Noise Within, continuing its inaugural season, gamely accepts the challenge.
Leigh Kennicott – Stagehappenings

SWEET
There’s nothing grievously wrong with the new Antony and Cleopatra at A Noise Within, and nothing especially wonderful about it either. This straight-ahead staging of Shakespeare’s ode to fallen might will not startle, amaze or thrill; it has no ingenious concept and no surprising characterizations. But it still is a satisfying staging that finds the drama and humor in the text, and offers a bit of spectacle to spice its brilliant ensemble.
Jason Rohrer – Stagehappenings

SWEET
Directed by Artistic Co-Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, and starring Elliott, this version becomes less the great romantic tragedy often portrayed, and more the story of a weak-willed whiner who falls for a manipulative and hedonistic foreign queen. The loyalties they trifle with, and the devastation they invite become far more interesting, or frustrating, than simple star-crossed romance.
Frances Baum Nicholson – The Stage Struck Review

BITTERSWEET
Thankfully, the Elliotts have included some wonderful physical action with soldiers and pirates swinging on ropes and finally hoisting poor Antony up to Cleopatra as he dies. Serious cutting might have let the audience take flight in under two hours, which would have been a good idea. For true fans of A Noise Within and this play, go for the action. As for the words, words, words… there are certainly a lot of them.
Michael Sheehan – OnStageLosAngeles

SWEET
Kudos to all for their work in this difficult play, especially the original music of Laura Karpman, which never overshadows the action, but rather enhances its moods, and the period-fresh costuming of Angela Balogh Calin.
Dale Reynolds – Stagehappenings

SWEET
In their kaleidoscopic staging, co-directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott provide color and movement in abundance. And like it we do.
F. Kathleen Foley – LA Times

SWEET
The creative forces at A Noise Within are talented at transporting us to another time and place and have added another great Shakespearean production to their repertoire.
Julie Riggott – Culture Spot LA

ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
A Noise Within
3352 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena
In rep, call for schedule; thru May 13, 2012
Tickets: $42-$46; (626) 356-3100
Running time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

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LemonMeter About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.

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  1. Hey Colin, mine’s definitely a bittersweet review. (Dunno if you saw the long version cos I think it only went online this morning.)

    To wit:

    “Susan Angelo’s Cleopatra is feisty and capricious, voracious and high-maintenance. Yet even when she later switches to the familiar blunt-fringed bob wig and sleeker dress (incongruously teamed with capri leggings), Angelo *fails to command the stage* with the regality expected of the Queen of the Nile.”

    and

    “Battles and swordplay are well choreographed by Ken Merckx, but *poorly executed by a timid ensemble* of centurions.”

    I mean, there were several aspects worthy of compliments (music, set, staging and most of the costume choices), but found the entire production lacking…

  2. I’ll take another look at it, Pauline, thanks.