Clean Scene

Buffed Cymbeline rolls out smoothly from the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Phil Canzano is a strong Belarius, and Robert Oakes is great in the usually forgettable role of Pisanio. His emotions are intense and clearly expressed; he convinces us of Pisanio's anguish; he works empathetically with Tanner's Imogen.

All the actors make interesting use of the set (designed by Joel Fink and Steve Kruse), slithering or jouncing along the steps, pounding up or down them. But every now and then, the steps get in the way. It's hard to look either romantic or menacing when you're kissing a sleeping woman and your head is at the level of hers, your knees a step or two above that and your butt waving in the air. Richard K. Thomas's sound design adds a lot to the production, from the lone flute that introduces "Fear No More" to the martial sounds accompanying the war scenes.

Cymbeline is rarely mounted these days. It was last seen at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in 1975, when founder Jack Crouch directed it, and the CSF completed the entire canon. Crouch died last week at the age of 84, after having seen all four of this summer's offerings. His friends say that one of his favorite lyrics in all of Shakespeare was Cymbeline's "Fear No More":

Will Hare and Elizabeth Tanner in Cymbeline.
Lou Costy
Will Hare and Elizabeth Tanner in Cymbeline.

Details

Presented by the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
In conjunction with Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet
Through August 23
303-492-0554, www.coloradoshakes.org
Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, University of Colorado, Boulder

Fear no more the heat o' th' sun
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Though thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers come to dust.

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