I saw myself a
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Oct 26 2001 Kelly Norton
I saw myself a fine performance of Julius Caesar tonight over at the Georgia Shakespeare Festival. Imagine Caesar in all the corpulent commanding style of a Huey P. Long, with a ribald laugh and a proud habit of rounding his bottom lip with his tongue.
Long live Caesar!
The entire performance was excellent, but knowing so little about the art of acting and thus being unable to speak with much authority to its quality, I will say that the southern political motif adopted for this show was a superb artistic embellishment to a classic with which so many are almost too familiar. The fact that Caesar reminds us of Long, a charismatic former governor and senator of Louisiana, frees one of Shakespeare's "histories" for its historical binds. Caesar, as illustrated, is a very popular yet dictatorial leader. Those exact words could also be used to describe Long who almost completely abolished local governments in his state yet enjoyed a strong following when word of his presidential aspirations became known. Unfortunately for Long, when he seemed on the brink of political success, he was assassinated in 1935 before he could "take the crown." Certainly, the parallels there are obvious. And, what two periods better illustrate the power of public speech. Marc Antony's "Friend, Romans, Countrymen" inciting the Roman citizens to frenzied revenge and Long's mastery of the filibuster that held the entire senate in frustrated deadlock. Ironically, hours of those filibusters were spent reciting Shakespeare. No kidding. Overall this show was fabulous, and though I said I lacked the experience to comment on the acting, I will say based solely on impression that the actor who played Marc Antony gave the best performance I have ever seen on stage.

Other than that…nothing much.
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