Well-spoken ASP member Jason Bowen is a young, initially commanding Othello who radiates less gravitas than bonhomie. And he clearly delights in his bride, newcomer Brooke Hardman's chaste but hardly innocent vixen in ankle boots, who returns the allegiance with a gutsiness she retains through tyranny and tears, right up to her wrongful death — here a protracted if gently executed strangulation that chills while seeming at the same time to unman an already shaken, almost dithering Othello.
The marches, carousals, fights, and ambushes are well staged by Braha and violence designer Robert Najarian. And scenic designer Tijana Bjelajac's use of the Villa Victoria space is arresting, as is GW Rodriguez's otherworldly, percussive sound design. Nancy Leary's costumes, with their corseted military uniforms and Desdemona's snakeskin leggings, are a bit of a muddle, but they're astutely lightened up in the hot, perhaps hot-blood-inducing air of Cyprus. And there is a particularly strong performance by Paula Langton doubling as a snazzy female exec of a Duke and an Emilia whose cowed humanity makes it pretty obvious we can add wife beating to the list of Iago's motiveless malignancies.
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