Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  Julius Caesar at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Julius Caesar

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

Using present-day Washington as a backdrop for this timeless historical drama, Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents a modern staging of one of Shakespeare's most admired, consistently performed and adaptable plays, Julius Caesar. Packed with political treachery and shifting alliances, the historically-inspired work recounts the ruptured relationship between Caesar and Brutus, which results in a plot by Roman senators Brutus and Cassius to murder their leader, which in turn incites a civil war at the dawn of the Roman empire. Presented in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater, this production is helmed by acclaimed British director Jonathan Munby, whose work has graced the stages of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare's Globe.

Thru - Mar 24, 2013

Price: $48-$68

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-595-5600

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Seating Chart

Nearby Restaurants

  Julius Caesar Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...Jonathan Munby's visually thrilling, exciting and richly wrought production of "Julius Caesar" - which opened Wednesday night and features everything from a flash mob to a hot-dog stand to soldiers rappelling from the rafters of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater -comes to life with celebrants milling around some granite-clad capitol or another."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...Munby's production can feel somewhat hyperbolic and cliched in the big action scenes. But the crucial arguments between Cassius and Brutus are expertly done. And in an exceptionally large cast, there is great clarity in many moments: From the wily Casca (the ever-riveting Larry Yando as a crucial turncoat senator, as well as the show's expert vocal coach); to the heated relationship between Brutus and his perceptive wife, Portia (the splendid Brenda Barrie); to the sweet trust between Brutus and his innocent young aide, Lucius (a most winning Alex Weisman); to the clearly shallow character of Caesar's young successor, Octavius (Samuel Taylor), and to the madwoman Soothsayer (haunted and haunting vocalizing by McKinley Carter)."
Read Full Review

Hedy Weiss

Centerstage - Recommended

"...Clearly audience members were not warned about the very realistic gun violence in the show. Everyone jumped in their seats as cap guns fired. One audience-member released a pop of nervous laughter when Octavius, heir of Julius, executed two men and a young boy before the curtains closed. At some points, director Jonathan Munby allows the battle scenes to verge on melodramatic (a soothsayer running around stage lip-syncing a loud, ominous wail pouring from the speakers) but overall Munby's dedication to revamping and invigorating the classic tale is admirable."

Kristin Walters

Chicago Stage Review - Recommended

"...Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s somewhat modernized production of Julius Caesar both benefits from and suffers from the updating. Dion Johnstone, David Darlow, and Larry Yando (especially Larry Yando) do spectacular work here, but some of the tragedy that is the Battle of Phillipi gets lost in the spectacle inherent to a modern staging of the fog of war."
Read Full Review

J. Scott Hill

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...The production opens on a carnival-like crowd scene: Roman rubes decked out in garish team colors (Team Caesar, that is) engage, for some reason, in a country line dance. That’s one way to suggest mob mentality, I suppose. The visuals here—along with the malleability of the excitable crowd at Caesar’s funeral, when Antony (Dion Johnstone) easily turns them against Marcus Brutus (John Light) seconds after they were cheering him—suggest Munby takes an even dimmer view of the rabble than Shakespeare did. David Darlow’s Caesar comes across as a wholly benevolent popular leader, making Jason Kolotouros’s Cassius appear all the more malevolent in his plotting. Munby’s metaphor holds up decently through Caesar’s death, but coherence washes away when he goes full-on action movie for the increasingly loud, indistinct battle scenes between Brutus’s and Antony’s warring factions. If the director has something to say about American democracy, his campaign isn’t getting it across."
Read Full Review

Kris Vire

ShowBizChicago - Highly Recommended

"...Director Jonathan Munby’s vision of Julius Caesar is now on display at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and for those that thought they knew this work inside and out or for those who are novices at the genre, this production is a revelation. Though his Ceasar seems to exist in our current socio-political world of Political Action Committees, Instagram and street cameras that mark our every move, the heart of the drama still elicits ancient Rome where marble columns abound and the citizens were are fickle as the leaders that ruled over them. For this is an Everyman’s production of Julius Ceasar in every way, shape and form. Any subtlety that lay in Shakespeare’s language is abolished here and what we get are character’s who know who they are, what they want and how to accomplish it."

Michael J. Roberts

Chicago Theatre Addict - Highly Recommended

"...Confession: this is my first Caesar, having read the play ages ago. I know it's been done, perhaps overdone, in this fair city (Babes with Blades is staging an all-female version in March), but I'm delighted my introduction to this tale of fate vs. free will is through such an explosive production, steeped in Chicago talent with luxury casting of a scene-stealing Larry Yando as Casca and Barbara Robertson as Caesar's portent-fearing wife, Calphurnia (though I wish Bill Shakes had given her more to do than merely serve as a device to demonstrate Caesar's crumbling constitution. That said, Robertson has some fun ensemble work when she joins the mob minions in act 2)."
Read Full Review

Robert Bullen

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Updating Shakespeare often betrays a tragic flaw: the substitution of novelty, or shock value, for the thing itself. All too often the language that bears the drama is subverted by empty trappings of currency. Then along comes the exception, the rare radical concept that devoutly serves the play, and you have something as bold, provocative and yet luminous as director Jonathan Munby's modernized "Julius Caesar" at Chicago Shakespeare Theater."
Read Full Review

Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...This painfully contemporary Julius Caesar needs and receives all the urgency it can muster. It opens, circus-like, with a two-stepping square dance performed by cute college kids, depicting Caesar’s fans as much as fanatics, taping the fun for You Tube, and passing out campaign literature for his re-election. Munby continues the modern touch with CNN-style press conferences, a terrific storm worthy of global warming, and a closed circuit T.V. depiction of the assassination. (Curiously and regrettably, the title character’s actual political murder seems like a private affair, with Caesar’s ubiquitous bodyguards suddenly disappearing and only the seven conspiratorial senators on hand to stab at least ten blood bags as well as Caesar. You get no sense of the horror registered by the onlookers – and that’s worth seeing.)"
Read Full Review

Lawrence Boomer

Splash Magazine - Recommended

"...I do think that this production is ultimately successful in bringing Julius Caesar into the modern era. While those unfamiliar with the Great Bard's work may find the play at times overly weighty and ponderous, it will more than entertain anyone with an even casual awareness of Shakespeare's work."
Read Full Review

Noel Schecter

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...In short, there are sufficient "bread and circuses" for those willing to make the excursion. But ultimately there is something regrettably untimely about Mr. Mundy's Julius Caesar. In an age where soft money is just as dangerous as hard power and where politicians never stray too far from their speeches, something about Julius Caesar seems strangely inaccessible to us."
Read Full Review

Anthony J Mangini

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...The entire cast, especially the haunting McKinley Carter (soothsayer) and hysterical Larry Yando (Casca), make for an unforgettable shoot-em-up showcase. This is not JULIUS CAESAR's politics like usual. And it's better than any action thriller because the script is tried and true. JULIUS CAESAR is a classic re-mix for modern audiences."
Read Full Review

Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...This production is roughly 2 1/2 hours ( with an intermission) and is spellbinding from start to finish.Even though we know it is a tragedy and there is a great deal of death and war, we know that Shakespeare did have a meaning to what he penned. This is a story about politics and one may notice some resemblance to today's world; it is a story about losing democracy ( or the fear of losing it, if a King is declared); Who should have the power? one man, his cabinet or anyone who wants it? And of course, one of the big ones, what happens when the structure of life changes? We all have our own fears, and as the economy does it's swing, prices at the pumps rise, taxes increase, we can see that this is not a new fear, it has been around since the days of Shakespeare, and before."
Read Full Review

Alan Bresloff

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...The ensemble is a blend of local actors and imports. It should surprise no veteran area theatergoer that the most effective actor in the production is Larry Yando, who carves out a deliciously sardonic portrait of Casca, the Roman senator and one of the conspirators. It's a comparatively minor role and one could wish Yando were cast in a more prominent part, especially Brutus, the real core character in the narrative."

Dan Zeff

  Julius Caesar Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter