The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (TFANA)
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (TFANA)

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (TFANA) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(52 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great staging, Ambitious, Intense

About the Show

Director Shana Cooper staged this production at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2017. Now, in her Off-Broadway debut, Cooper reimagines her earlier incarnation of Shakespeare's timeless tragedy for TFANA.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (52)

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443 Reviews | 145 Followers
Bar-raising, Exquisite, Great direction, Great acting, Masterful

See it if you want your high expectations met. Superlative cast. Gritty, red-blooded, heart-racing. If looking for the best WS around, don’t miss.

Don't see it if you‘re certain the definitive Julius Caesar requires togas & English accents, or you already know you don’t like this play. Read more

156 Reviews | 60 Followers
Relevant, Riveting, Must see, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to see Shakespeare performed in a compelling and profound production. Terrific staging and acting and the choreography is amazing.

Don't see it if If you want only traditional Shakespeare without any revisions. Read more

177 Reviews | 44 Followers
Intelligent, Refreshing, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if you like your Shakespeare full of blood and energy and physical dynamism.

Don't see it if you have a narrow idea of what Shakespeare "should" be, you dislike textual liberties, and shows that physically relay information Read more

52 Reviews | 45 Followers
Relevant, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want a fresh, modern look at an old story.

Don't see it if you hate Shakespeare and/or modern adaptations of Shakespeare.

241 Reviews | 19 Followers
Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Probably the best Julius Caesar I have seen

Don't see it if you know what happens

171 Reviews | 25 Followers
Resonant, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want an engaging presentation of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. I am not usually a huge fan of Caesar and was fully engaged.

Don't see it if you are looking for a classic or period presentation or have trouble sitting for long performances

57 Reviews | 4 Followers
Great staging, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you want to see a refreshing and incredible take on Julius Caesar

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare

50 Reviews | 18 Followers
Not a false step, Excellent sound design, New ways to depict violence, Dynamic, Outstanding lead actors

See it if you're ready to see the classic struggle once again, with stylized violence to add interest to the static quality of the second act.

Don't see it if you don't share Shakespeare's concerns about how free people can govern themselves. Read more

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
March 28th, 2019

"Shana Cooper’s revival — busy and butch — is so deep in conversation with itself and its dance battles that it nearly forgets to speak to us today...She seems more interested in moving bodies around rather than showing us what the minds inside those bodies might be thinking. Once in a while her work is electric...Mostly, the actors have enough comfort with the language to put across its essential meaning, but not the ease either to play with it or against it."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 29th, 2019

"The stage is full of visual ideas, the kind you can tell meant something specific to the people brainstorming but that haven’t made the jump...for all the energetic efforts of its actors, the production never gathers its power...This is the kind of well-intentioned aesthetic mishmash that ironically emerges not from too little thought but from a great deal of it that got caught up in itself...What keeps us engaged are a few individual actors punching through the hodgepodge."
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March 28th, 2019

"Cooper's urgent and worthy interpretation reminds one of just how much this play in particular gains from a fairly straightforward approach - straightforward, that is, except for its bruising physicality...The fact that Cooper manages to imply topical parallels without overwhelming the play's enduring power feels refreshing...It also allows us to focus on the performances of the excellent cast, and thus on the human elements underlying Shakespeare's epic sociopolitical dissection."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 29th, 2019

“You can see the outlines of a vision that seems all too relevant to today's America...The power of this Julius Caesar is only a sometime thing, thanks to an uneven cast whose members have apparently not yet settled on a unified acting style...Everyone is so jaw-grindingly intense as to be fatiguing...Overall, this is a 'Julius Caesar' that bemuses: It's good on the big ideas, much weaker on the details needed to support them. Ultimately, it telegraphs its intentions too overtly."
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New York Stage Review
March 28th, 2019

"Once Cooper’s actors start speaking the poetry and prose—if not trippingly on the tongue, certainly grippingly—things go quite well...Strife is the order of the sinister day and night, and Cooper pulls no punches...I had a reaction to it. I’d never experienced. It’s a marvelous play. That still stands. But is it a thoroughly well-written one? There I have to suggest it has drawbacks that never previously occurred to me...Never mind. This 'Caesar' is in sturdy hands for most of its course."
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April 3rd, 2019

"In the 1930's, the play was presented as an anti-Fascist rallying cry. In our own era, it has been presented with various American presidents as the stand-in for Caesar. While Shana Cooper's production for Theatre for a New Audience here called 'The Tragedy of Julius Caesar' is vigorous, lusty and lucid, it offers no political point of view. We never understand why the conspirators want to get rid of Caesar or what they want to replace him with instead."
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Theatre is Easy
March 28th, 2019

"A dystopian head scratcher, but the fault is not in its stars...The lack of clarity about setting and story only muddies the relationships between characters. The show features some stand-out performances...What’s most confounding about Cooper’s wacky vision of Rome is how predictable it is. In a world aesthetically unmoored from the columns and temples of ancient patriarchy, why so few women?...Cooper’s staging has one really riveting moment."
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Theater Pizzazz
March 31st, 2019

"Where this OSF/TFANA production succeeds in its modern setting is that there are no identifiable figures from the tabloids or the halls of government. Nonetheless, it still grapples with communicating the monumental, earth-shaking seriousness of the play in its period by having central characters run around in hoodies...The elements simply don’t come together to create the devastating political drama that is 'Julius Caesar' on the page."
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