On this 400th anniversary of the passing of William Shakespeare from the mortal plain Ted Lange has delivered a master piece that blends the modern genius of Lange with the undeniable and enduring brilliance of Shakespeare in The Prequel to Othello. The Cause, My Soul.
Anyone who has ever read the great Shakespeare tragedy Othello, or has seen it performed on stage perhaps knows that Othello was a revered military leader loved for his skill on the battlefield but shunned for his appearance. He was, after all a Moor and therefore a bit darker of skin than his soldiers. He was also a Muslim living in a Christian world. So he sent shock waves through the society of his day when he dared to marry a Venetian Senator’s young daughter. And we also know that Iago was a cold hearted manipulator, but how did it all evolve? What brought Cassio and Iago and Othello to the place where Shakespeare launched the telling of his tale of Othello? That is what Ted Lange has created and it is pure joy and genius.
The humor is poignant and unending. The characters take on to some extent a more modern persona which serves to amplify the hilarity without tarnishing the Shakespearean flavor. We see the seeds of hatred planted within the soul of Iago as Cassio receives the commission denied to Iago. We are treated to a revealing soliloquy by a priest that brilliantly yet humorously tells of the dark sentiments of the day when black and white and Muslin and Christian collide. Sure that was then, but could it perhaps look much the same today?
So this most unique piece of theatre is pure magic combining as it does the classic elements of Shakespeare with a more modern sense of humor, all while holding up a mirror that reflects deeply into our souls. There is nothing else like it; it is compelling and brilliant and exquisitely performed. I offer major kudos to Ted Lange and the entire cast and crew. You may enjoy this magnificent show at The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Avenue, West Los Angeles, CA. It runs now through May 1st with performances Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
Reservations and ticketing is available online at: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/956491. Or by calling 310-477-2055 ext. 2.
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.