1. I swear that everybody and their mother reads this play in high school, yet I never did. Freshman year I read Romeo & Juliet. Sophomore year we did Macbeth in history and Taming of the Shrew in English. Junior year was focused on American Lit so we didn't get a Shakespeare in, but senior year covered Hamlet. At some point in high school I also picked up The Tempest. But Julius Caesar? Never.
2. Luckily, I've read a book about historical Julius Caesar. Actually, now that I think about it, when I say 'a book' I might actually be thinking of a comic book version of the play. I might also just be thinking of Wikipedia. My bad. Either way, I'm vaguely aware of his life story.
3. Anyway, I figured I'd be OK for this play, and for the most part I was, even though Jeannie, my brother and I were half an hour late because someone (OK: myself) thought the play started at 8 when in fact it started at 7:30. We were lucky to get in. The box office was closed and it was only by looking extremely pathetic and holding out gobs of cash were we able to see the show. (Gobs = $20 each. After all the press declaring what dire financial straits the company is in, you'd think they wouldn't dream of passing up $60.)
4. We would have been on time, despite my erroneous time, if UC Santa Cruz wasn't a nightmare campus. We spend half an hour trying to find the stupid theater. That sprawling, confusing school needs more signs and less road construction.
Less fog would have been helpful, too.
5. Since I was fresh from Ashland, I may have been more critical than the actors deserved, but I was disappointed with the quality of the performance. Brutus was excellent. Cassius was pretty good. Caesar wasn't really alive long enough for me to draw a firm conclusion. Portia was pretty awesome. Everyone else? Meh.
6. Mark Antony looked like Percy Weasley. He was even a head taller than everyone else in the show. His voice cracked a lot, causing inappropriate giggles from the peanut gallery. Peanut #1 (me) and Peanut #2 (Jeannie) great embarrassed the lone Cashew (my brother).
7. Dude. This play is totally gayer than I thought. That is, I did not expect all the homoerotic undertones. Cue more snickering from the peanut gallery.
8. Costumes were more or less modern, with soldiers dressed in body armor with big nasty guns. However, Caesar's murder (complete with maroon/purple blood) was commited with swords. The swords were approximately four-six inches in length. They barely qualified as daggars, but the men swaggered about waving them like they were claymores or something.
Once again, cue the laughter from the peanut gallery.