Seeing Cymbeline

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I went to see Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Lincoln Center Theater. Not often performed, this comedy reminded me of a combination of Snow White and Othello with its wicked stepmother, pure princess, and jealous villain. Common Shakespeare comic elements such as mistaken identity, girls dressed as boys, and frolicking in the woods sprinkled the fanciful plot.

We had good seats (uncommon for me) with a great view of this beautiful production. The set consisted of tall, golden pillars that moved to serve as the forest, as well as the palace. The heroine Imogen, who carries the story, was played by Martha Plimpton. While I kept thinking of The Goonies, her graceful interpretation of this Shakespearean character impressed me greatly. Another blast from the 80’s, Phylicia Rashad, played the evil queen, though I found her a bit odd and unnatural in the role.

I really enjoyed the staging of this play, particularly a misty battle and an interesting dream sequence. This production was a joy for the senses. I really wonder why this play is not more frequently performed.

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