Othello: Giants wage war on Guthrie stage

Peter Macon (Othello) and Stephen Yoakam (Iago) in the Guthrie Theater production of <i>Othello.</i>

Peter Macon (Othello) and Stephen Yoakam (Iago) in the Guthrie Theater production of Othello.

The Guthrie Theater's new production of Othello features an embarrassment of riches. It's a production where extremely talented, leading actors like Raye Birk, Nat Fuller, and Sun Mee Chomet can be used for small character roles.

That strength in acting continues all the way to the top of Marion McClinton's handsome and engaging production, with Peter Macon and Stephen Yoakam taking absolute command of the Wurtlele Thrust Stage as Othello and Iago.

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In Shakespeare's epic tragedy, Othello is undone by his fiery nature. He is fast to take action, to the point that he doesn't attempt to uncover what truly is going on in regards to his wife and young lieutenant Cassio.

On his end, Iago lets his jealousy, and own unconfirmed suspicions about Othello and Iago's wife, Emilia, drive all of his actions as he twists all of the characters around his finger.

That makes for a tall task for the two main actors, but these are two actors who up for the task. Macon's large stature and imposing demeanor instantly make him the center of any scene where Othello is onstage. Yoakam builds his power in another way, pushing his character's edge to the point of madness.

Their performances do plenty to keep the lengthy show moving along. They are aided by the balance of the company, including Tracey Maloney as doomed Desdemona and John Catron as Cassio.

All of this happens under the careful watch of director McClinton, who never loses sight of the ultimate, brutal end of the tale.


Through April 20
Guthrie Theater

818 S. Second St., Minneapolis

For tickets and more information, call 612.377.2224 or visit online.