Some scholars believe other playwrights (with Thomas Middleton being the prime candidate), in addition to William Shakespeare, penned portions of Timon of Athens, which was first produced only after his death. Fortunately for us, Bare Theatre presents works of The Bard rarely seen in this area. They also present his work with no regard for gender, race, or scenery. As regards scenery, this may be part of the rationale for their name, so you needn’t fear nudity.
It is also the case that the play is considered one of the “problem plays” of William Shakespeare, because of an unresolved ambiguity — is it a comedy or is it a tragedy? Timon is indeed a tragic figure, but the primary content of the action turns out to be hilarious. Timon is a wealthy man whose generosity to a group of parasitic sycophants impoverishes him. And, of course, those friends then desert him.
Director Dustin Britt’s version of Timon of Athens includes wonderful and fun modern pop dancing and contemporary pop music. Possibly, Britt’s solution to its “problem” is to simply make it satirical, including its otherwise very unlight ending. Thus, if the language is difficult, the entertainment is all there, nonstop.
The wonderful cast, an even dozen, most of whom play several characters, deliver from the moment they feel the presence of even one audience member until the final bows. And although most of their business is gay and delightful, when the moments of violence erupt, they become a pretty fearsome bunch.
Tara Nicole Williams trained the cast through the fight and intimacy displays. Heather J. Strickland choreographed the wonderfully energetic, sensuous dances. Katie Moorehead costumed the cast, each wearing a basic black, enhanced, when they change characters, by addition of accessories.
Kacey Reynolds Schedler takes on the role of Lord Timon, and does a first-rate job of a very challenging role. The sincerity of Timon’s generosity, and the destruction of his good will are made obvious in her performance.
Timon’s servant Flavius is played excellently by Naveed Moeed, who also plays the Jeweler. Moeed gives us two separate individuals in these performances. We feel his devoted loyalty to his master as the world comes crashing down.
Arin Dickson plays General Alcibiades, a true friend of Timon’s. She does a marvelous military demeanor, and her handling of the fight scenes is as frightening as her love and commitment to her friend are genuine.
Hayden Tyler, Athenian Trio III, as well as being the production hair & makeup designer, does exquisite dance routines and camped up his role in the Trio with gusto.
These several did wonderful work as did all of the rest of cast, who also deserve to be recognized by name: Bobby Callaway (three roles), Elizabeth Galbraith (Athenian Trio I), Nick Iammatteo (two roles), Rebecca Ashley Jones (three roles), Keith A. Kenel (three roles), Emily Levinstone (two roles), Nicholas Tycho Reed (Athenian Trio II), and Karen Morgan Williams (three roles).
Kudos to director Dustin Britt, who has done outstanding work putting this show on the stage. His work and the energetic onstage performances of his cast make this a show well worth seeing.
SECOND OPINION: Feb. 28th Durham, NC Indy Week mini-preview by Byron Woods: https://indyweek.com/events/bare-theater-presents-timon-athens-club-shows/ and Feb. 21st mini-preview by Byron Woods: https://indyweek.com/events/bare-theater-presents-timon-athens-community-shows_2/; Feb. 13th Hillsborough, NC WHUP/104.7 FM interview with director Dustin Britt and cast members, conducted by Wayne Leonard for “Lights Up!”: https://whupfm.org/episode/lights-up-2-13-19-permanent-archive/ (starts at the 39:00 mark); and Feb. 6th Cary, NC RDU on Stage video interview with director Dustin Britt and cast members, conducted by Lauren Van Hemert: https://rduonstage.com/2019/02/06/video-interview-with-the-cast-creatives-of-bare-theatres-timon-of-athens/.
Bare Theatre presents TIMON OF ATHENS at 8 p.m. March 2, 7, 9, 14, and 15 at The Wicked Witch [Club Shows for ages 18+] , 416 W. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601; and 7 p.m. March 8 and 16 at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church [Community Shows for ages 13+] , 622 Maywood Ave., Raleigh, North Carolina 27603.
TICKETS: $18 for audience members 18+ at The Wicked Witch and $15 (suggested donation) or pay-what-you-can for audience members 13+ at St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church.
BOX OFFICE: https://baretheatre.org/tickets/ for The Wicked Witch and pay-at-the-door for St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church.
NEWS RELEASE: https://baretheatre.org/timon-of-athens-press-release/.
THE CAST: https://baretheatre.org/shows/timon-cast/.
BLOG (https://baretheatre.org/category/blog/): https://baretheatre.org/category/blog/.
St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church: https://www.stjohnsmcc.org/, https://www.facebook.com/stjohnsmcc/, https://twitter.com/stjohnsmcc, https://www.youtube.com/user/StJohnsMCC76, and (directions/map: https://www.stjohnsmcc.org/about/directions.html).
Timon of Athens, a.k.a. The Life of Tymon of Athens (1605-08 five-act tragedy): https://www.britannica.com/topic/Timon-of-Athens (Encyclopædia Britannica), https://www.folger.edu/timon-of-athens (Folger Shakespeare Library), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timon_of_Athens (Wikipedia).
The Script: http://firstfolio.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/ff/tim/ (The Bodleian First Folio).
Study Guide: https://www.bard.org/study-guides/timon-of-athens-study-guide?rq=timon%20of%20athens (Utah Shakespeare Festival).
William Shakespeare (Elizabethan and Jacobean actor, playwright, and poet, 1564-1616): https://www.britannica.com/biography/William-Shakespeare (Encyclopædia Britannica), https://www.folger.edu/shakespeare (Folger Shakespeare Library), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare (Wikipedia).
Thomas Middleton (Jacobean playwright and poet, 1580-1627): https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Middleton (Encyclopædia Britannica), https://emed.folger.edu/taxonomy/term/1296 (Folger Shakespeare Library), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Middleton (Wikipedia).
Dustin Britt (director): https://www.facebook.com/dkbritt (Facebook page).
Martha Keravuori is a life-long theater artist — an actress, director, and stage manager — in North Carolina, around the country, and overseas. She has a theater degree from UNC-Greensboro, and has been active in the arts in Raleigh for the past 40 years. Martha is the retired executive director of the North Carolina Theatre Conference. Chuck Galle returned to Raleigh last year after a 17-year absence. He was active in community theater for many years, and directed the troupe of maximum-security inmates at Raleigh’s Central Prison known as the Central Prison Players. In New England, he performed on stage, on TV, and in films. He is the author of Stories I Never Told My Daughter — An Odyssey, which can be ordered on Amazon.com. Chuck Galle and Martha Keravuori previously reviewed theater for Boom! Magazine of Cary. Click here to read more of their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.