OTHELLO by the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre at 21st and Sansom, is quite an excellent show. Carmen Khan, the director, really gets perfect diction from every actor in every word of the play. Forrest McClendon does a fine job in the lead role and J. Hernandez is diabolically devious. But I do have two complaints: The grey wall of a set looked like the outer wall of Moyamensing Prison; they could have done better. And the murder of Desdemona was overdone. As Othello tried to strangle her, and then tried to smoother her. she wildly struggled about the bed with her arms and legs flailing all about for several minutes. At this point, the play was no longer an Elizabethan fantasy, it became Law and Order: Special Victims. A quick twist of the poor lady’s head would have been enough. Also I liked the elaborate program, but I wish they had an air balloon to take me to the top floor of that theater. March 8 to May 18, 2013. phillyshakespeare.org.
Read a less grumpy Phindie review of Philly Shakes’ OTHELLO.