“Othello” is outstanding at the Delacorte Theatre. Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson does such a superb job bringing this piece together with grand splendor that you find yourself captivated every moment. It is full of fantastic, brilliant and passionate acting performances; the rich, rhythmic words of Shakespeare; and the delicate beauty of an open theater with the night sky as your ceiling. There is something so peaceful and joyful about experiencing great theater in this open space. Everything about this production moves along so smoothly. It is Shakespeare at his best, and it is free!
The Delacorte Theatre is in Central Park, located at 81st Street and Central Park West. “Othello” is Shakespeare’s masterpiece about the love of a Black Moor named Othello and his white beloved Desdemona. Her father disapproves of their marriage, as do other characters such as Roderigo, who loves Desdemona. One of the other main character is Iago, an ensign under Othello’s command. He secretly hates Othello and plots to destroy him. Methodically he gets all the pieces in place to convince Othello that the fair Desdemona is being unfaithful—an act which, in those days, could drive men to murder their wives. Iago’s evil is all-consuming. He is so meticulous in his plotting and masterful at getting everyone to play in to what he needs to destroy Othello.
Othello is poignantly played by an amazingly passionate actor Chukwudi Iwuji. Desdemona is beautifully portrayed by Heather Lind. Corey Stoll is absolutely brilliant as Iago. Alison Wright is a sympathetic character as Emilia, Desdemona’s servant and someone manipulated by her husband, the pure evil Iago. Babak Taftj is charming as Cassio, a soldier under Othello’s command and a pawn used to make Othello jealous. Motell Foster is marvelous as the also ill-used Roderigo, a man who wants Desdemona for himself. Flor De Luz Perez is delightful and alluring as Bianca, Cassio’s love interest. Peter Jay Fernandez is also featured in this cast as the Duke of Venice. Additional cast members include Peter Van Wagner, Thomas Schall, Miguel Perez, Andrew Hovelson, Kevin Rico Angulo, Christopher Cassarino, David Kenner, Tim Nicolai, Lily Santiago, Caroline Siewert and Allen Tedder.
I simply loved seeing this production. It would be so incredible if this ensemble could receive a special award for their superb performance. This play is off-of-the chart entertainment and would be a great experience for the entire family. Again, all these incredible actors’ performances come together through the splendid, spot-on direction of Santiago-Hudson. Go see “Othello” and enjoy! The Delacorte Theatre and the Public doing free Shakespeare in the Park is a gift to this city!