Antony and Cleopatra Review - Long Beach Shakespeare Company Production


Photography by Greg Autry / GregAutryPhoto




Antony & Cleopatra at the delightfully small Goad Theatre in Long Beach is a testament to those who love theatre. I saw the Play in rehearsal, before its opening night, and was absolutely delighted.  For those who may not be familiar with what is considered one of Shakespeare's more interesting and complex montages. Dana Coyle plays manipulative seductress Cleopatra, and Fred Mancuso is brilliantly cast as the General Antony and  Cleopatra's Lover.  Set in complex historical times the large cast and small theatre brings to the fore what  theater is all about.  For Cast and Crew, it's simply the love of their art.






Shakespeare's Play is an Epic Adventure and Tragedy, spanning  Countries and Oceans from Egypt to Rome and including some of the "biggest" characters ever written for the Stage.   Dana Coyle is wonderful in her ability to transform from scene to scene, as Cleopatra in any guise, be it demur enchantress who wants to get her way, or as the sexual Goddess Cleopatra, who knows no bounds to her own wants and needs. 








As Antony actor Fred Mancuso  is a Mans-Man, tall and strong in stature as we would expect of a General whose conquest include Countries, and most pointedly, the most sensual woman in the world [Cleopatra].  Mancuso himself is a Veteran who has served his Country as a Green Beret in multiple years of service, including Iraq and Africa. 





I was introduced to the Long Beach Shakespeare Company a  while back, by my friend Janet Boyd, when I was invited to see the Companies production  of ` The Maltese Falcon' by Dashiell Hammett.  The Stage Adaption of The Maltese Falcon was done by Helen Borgers of the LBSC, and remains the only Adaption authorized by the Estate of Dashiell Hammett.  Some of you may recognize Janet's name from my involvement with Julian Ritter's Art. Indeed, this is the same Janet Boyd that was Julian's model, and the Iconic Las Vegas Showgirl in The Portrait of Janet.  The following from my interview with Helen Borgers,  `Janette started out as an actress with The Bard in the Yard, playing Mrs. Westenra in DRACULA in 1997. In 1998, she joined the Board of Directors [LBSC]. In that capacity, she has produced fundraisers, helped with promotion, acted as road manager for our Faire tours, assisted with our educational programs, and served as choreographer. She is now Vice President of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company, and continues to promote and fundraise.' 



The Long Beach Shakespeare Company began  as the Bard in the Yard producing Plays in Long Beach Community Parks and Schools. Today the LBSC is an approved 501c3 Charity, with its mission remaining to serve Underserved Communities.  With that, the LBSC produces not only Shakespeare's play, but also many others including the classic Orson Wells' Radio Play,  `The War of the Worlds', every Halloween.




The Heart and Soul of The Long Beach Shakespeare Group is Helen Borgers.  Many of you will recognize Helen of course, as the legendary Jazz DJ at KKJZ, 88.1 (K-Jazz) in Southern California, where she has been on the air for an amazing 35 years. K-Jazz is still, and we hope will always, broadcast from its home at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB).  Helen wears many hats at LBSC, perhaps foremost as Artistic Director. Halloween, 2014, marked her 17th year as AD at LBSC.  Helen received her BA in Dramatic Literature and History from CSULB. She has selflessly taught drama and Shakespeare workshops at High Schools in Long Beach as well as having directed and performed in a diverse repertoire including Euripides, Shakespeare, and Tennessee Williams. In 2007, the Long Beach Arts Council presented Helen Borgers with their Distinguished Arts Professional award.  In 2010 Helen received  Long Beach's first ever  Arts and Culture Amazing Woman of the Year  Award.




The Mission of the Long Beach Shakespeare Company is elegant in simplicity. To Serve.  The amazing array of cast, crew, and performers cannot be covered  in one Article.  For those who love theatre arts in its most natural and beautiful presentation, I highly recommend seeing Antony and Cleopatra at the Goad Theatre in Long Beach.  Dana Coyle and Fred Mancuso Shine.







Antony and Cleopatra plays weekends at The Richard Goad Theatre, in Long Beach.  Opens Friday, February 27  through Sunday March 21. Friday and Saturday 8pm, and Sundays 2pm.

4250 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90807 (562) 997-1494.  


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