But Nicholas Carrière is a complex Coriolanus, patronizing to the populace, a man's man with his comrades, a mama's boy with his mother. He gives off genuine shock and horror when the citizens banish him. White-bearded, white-haired Fred Sullivan Jr. amply fulfills Menenius's description of himself as a "humorous patrician"; Robert Walsh's Cominius is a crusty old general; Jacqui Parker and Remo Airaldi, both in black, give venomous life to Sicinius and Brutus. Karen MacDonald's Volumnia is self-centered and hard as nails; I'd have liked to see the character's sympathetic side. There's more than a degree of cynicism here; when Volumnia and friend Valeria (Angela Smith) ask Coriolanus's wife, Virgilia (Esme Allen), to go out with them, they sound as if shopping with the Kardashians were on the agenda. Still, as Tullus Aufidius (Maurice Parent) points out, "our virtues/Lie in the interpretation of the time." This is a Coriolanus very much of our time, and a powerful reminder of the gap between public service and public opinion.

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