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  Othello Reviews
Othello
Othello

Othello
Babes With Blades Theatre Company at Factory Theater
Thru - May 25, 2019

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Babes With Blades Theatre Company at Factory Theater

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
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Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...We sit in the round watching chaos unfold. A beautifully tiled floor supports a canopied platform with sheer curtains that transforms the space from scene to scene. This world is both the characters' and ours. Director Stewart and fight/intimacy designer Samantha Kaufman juxtapose moments of tenderness and tension between Othello and Desdemona, from the playful rejection of a kiss to the unfortunate, gut-wrenching end. There is hope, and then there is nothing."
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Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel



Theatre By Numbers- Highly Recommended

"...There are no two better matched for their theatrical title bout than Brianna Buckley’s Othello and Kathrynne Wolf’s Iago. Wolf’s performance trades any villainous mustache-twirling for a presence that is quiet and insidious. I was disturbed at how understanding I was of his deepening levels of personal treachery. Buckley’s Othello is a powerful joy and despair conduit in response to both encompassing happiness, and the wrenching betrayal of everyone he holds highest in esteem. I was disturbed at how ill-at-ease even the prospect of Othello taking his loved ones’ lives made me. This “Othello” is exceptionally good at forcing you to look at your own biases in the context of what happens onstage. Babes with Blades is asking you to look inward, and that is at the heart of truly compelling theater."
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Sean Margaret Wagner



Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...Hats off to Carlie Casas (Costume Designer), she did an excellent job with 16th century costuming. The dress that Desdemona wears is so true to the period, even the under garments and the cord used to tie the dress in the back. The rest of the costumes, and with a cast of 12 were all believable. Being a small theatre that only hold about 60 people comfortably the set was simple and functions with this Theatre. Hats off to Mignon McPherson Stewart for a believable production, that is simple good, and thoughtfully staged."
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Frank Meccia



NewCity Chicago- Recommended

"...Sarah Liz Bell’s depiction of Desdemona, on the other hand, is sensitive and nuanced, her every gesture noble and alive with winsome charm. Her first lines in the play reference the performance of duty to husband and father required of her by the rules invented by men, but her dialogues with Aemilia seem intimate and natural, creating a fascinating contrast between masculine performance and feminine sincerity. It should be noted: on her deathbed, she fights back."
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Irene Hsiao



The Fourth Walsh- Highly Recommended

"...And what’s a Babes with Blades’ show without their signature action? Shakespeare gave them the ideal play to brandish weapons. Fight Director and Intimacy Designer Samantha Kaufman masterfully orchestrates the brutality. The fighting breaks out on multiple occasions. The closeness of the space makes the hostility uncomfortably close. And when Buckley unleashes her savagery, the audience collectively holds it breath. The threat of danger is too real."
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Katy Walsh



Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Babes With Blades Theatre Company is performing Shakespeare’s Othello with a talented all-female cast at the Factory Theater. The cast is all female, trans, and gender-nonconforming. This otherwise-traditional production demonstrates that with excellent direction, acting and sword-fighting, there’s no need for male actors. (Take that, Elizabethan play-makers.)"
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Nancy Bishop



TotalTheater- Recommended

"...Where once "nontraditional" casting was regarded as mere novelty, the fresh outlook engendered thereby appears to be gaining popularity in mainstream circles. A case in point is Diana Coates, whose storefront-circuit performance as Henry V in 2017 drew critical acclaim, and who this summer will reprise it for the First Folio Shakespeare Festival Theatre at Oak Brook's Mayslake estate."
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Babes With Blades production of OTHELLO is a good fit for anyone who is a Shakespeare fan as they deliver the bard’s word with ease and passion. If you’re not one for classic Shakespeare this might not be the best fit for you."
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Akexis Bugajski