Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Review: Julius Caesar

By • Feb 28th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Vpstart Crow’s production of Julius Caesar [MP3 6:17 5.8MB].

Laura: We’re talking about Vpstart Crow‘s production of Julius Caesar which opened tonight and is playing through March 12th.

Mike: This is the William Shakespeare version of Julius Caesar. Covers the assassination of Julius Caesar and the aftermath of that and the politics that goes on in Rome. So what did you think of the show?

Laura: I thought it was a good show. it was not the traditional Shakespeare in togas running around. It was set in Las Vegas.

Mike: That was different.

Laura: That was very different. The way they had the stage set up. They had various tables.

Mike: At the casino. Set up in the floor area in the theater. So get there early and you can play blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker.

Laura: I thought that was different. I hadn’t seen it done that way before. Their dress was modern day dress.

Mike: They were all in suits and there were showgirls for the intermissions and a bartender. They were all wearing regular today clothing.

Laura: I though that was very different.

Mike: But it worked. They were wearing suits and ties.

Laura: It was good. I thought the lighting was good, too. The way the lighting came on and off. I thought that was good. It is Shakespeare English. So it took me about ten minutes to get into Shakespeare mode to figure out what was going on.

Mike: Some of the scenes were confusing. You might want to do a google search and read some Shakespeare or Julius Caesar pages. I just did a google and found four hits that were really useful and helped to explain the show we just saw. So definitely you should do that.

Laura: The three main characters I thought did

Mike: The three main characters were Julius Caesar, Casius, and Brutus.

Laura: Julius Caesar was played by Ted Taylor. This was his debut performance.

Mike: On live stage. He’s done other performances on film or tape. He did an ok job. He was a little monotone at points. I think that was just opening night. They had a preview last night and tonight was opening night in front of real people. It will come together.

Laura: I thought he played dead very well.

Mike: Not to give the plot away. It is the assassination of Julius Caesar. Any part where you are dead for half the show is an easy part. A good part, not an easy part.

Laura: I noticed he didn’t breathe.

Mike: He did, you just couldn’t see it.

Laura: Well, then I think that’s a good sign. He did well. Terry Spann also in his debut with Vpstart Crow Julius Caesar.

Mike: He was really good.

Laura: He was good. He had a lot of emotion, a lot of expression.

Mike: He carried himself really well. One thing we didn’t talk about was they didn’t do the show up on the stage. They did the show on the floor level where the casino was set up. Since this was Julius Caesar at Caesar’s Palace. They actually walked around the craps table and played with the roulette wheel, and threw the dice at times and picked up the chips. They also walked through the aisles. There are three aisles at the Cramer Center. One main aisle that goes out to the main lobby and two that go to the seating area. They used all three areas as the stage. So for parts of the show, you were sitting down front. You had to turn around and look behind you to see what they were doing behind you. It was a little awkward, but it was fine.

Laura: I liked the eye contact.

Mike: You could interact with them at times. They were skaking hands. I’m not going to tell specifics. You have to go see the show. They were cheering on the Roman crowds so they would come in and shake your hands to say congratulations. They would make good eye contact.

Laura: That was a different approach, but it was good. It brought the audience into it. Which I thought was important.

Mike: The role of Brutus was played by Jay Tilley. Jay did a good job with it. He was in a lot of the scenes. He had the closing scene. I’m not going to tell you how it happened. He had a lot of interaction wth the other people. He was one of the commanders. He was one of the main characters of the show.

Laura: Yes I agree he did a really good job with it.

Mike: Basically everybody did a pretty good job. One of the problems was the people had three or four parts. They did pretty good with changing costumes and things. A few times I was confused because I though that person was so and so. There were also all these ancient Roman names: Octavius, Caius Ligarius, Publius, and Calpurnia, and Lipidius and Plius and that just made it a little harder to keep track of. That’s just one of those Shakespeare things. But having so many people in different positions confused me a couple times and I can’t get into specifics. A couple of the character are men, but they’re played by women. That confused me too because I thought that’s his wife or that’s his daughter. Oh, that’s his son which I didn’t get until I read the show summary here from my Google search. So Julius Caesar performed by Vpstart Crow in Manassas at the Cramer Center. It’s about two hours long and playing through March 12th.

Laura: Almost up to the ides of March.

Mike: Almost up to the ides of March. You have to go see the show to see what that’s all about. So if you’ve seen the show, feel free to leave your comments here on We would appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Laura: And now, on with the show.


  • Julius Caesar: Ted Taylor
  • Brutus: Jay Tilley
  • Cassius: Terry Spann
  • Marc Antony: Cory Eskridge
  • Lucilius, Publius, 3rd Citizen: Eric Worcester
  • Lucius, Artemedorus, Dardanius: Zachary Brown
  • Titinius, Servant, Dancer: Allie Kerr
  • Lounge singer/Pianist, Pindarus, Lepidus, Clitus, Dancer, Understudy Calpurnia: Carla Okouchi
  • 1st soldier, Cicero, Popilius, Cinna the Poet, Dancer: Genevieve James
  • 2nd Soldier, Cinna, Dancer: Nicole Gordon
  • Understudy all above: Maggie MacIntosh
  • 3rd Soldier, Decius Brutus, 4th Citizen, Cato: Chris Holbert
  • Messala, Casca: Nathan Clark
  • Portia, 1st Citizen, Volumnius, Dancer: Melissa McConnell
  • Calpurnia, 2nd Citizen, Messenger, Dancer, Singer: Salma Qarnain
  • Soothsayer, Caius Ligarius, Octavius, Dancer: Kendall Temple
  • Understudy all above but dancer: Chalmers Hood
  • Metellus Cimber, Claudius, Strato: Zach Arnold


  • Director: Bob Smith
  • Assistant Director/Music Director: Paul Rubenstein
  • Production Manager: Carlos Fischler
  • Stage Manager: Kimberly Gretton
  • Choreography: Holly McNamee, Maggie MacIntosh, Carla Okouchi, Kendall Temple
  • Scenic and Lighting Designer: Stephen J. Cramer
  • Costume Designer: Hannah Dise
  • Master Carpenter: Chalmers Hood IV
  • Wardrobe and Makeup Assistance, Wig Mistress: Melissa York
  • Light Board Operator/Assistant Stage Manager: Justin Loy
  • Assistant Stage Manager/Sound Board Operator: Alyssa Luigart
  • House Manager: Jenny Green
  • Assistant House Manager: Kristen Green
  • Production Photos: Chalmers Hood III
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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

One Response »

  1. Mike and Laura,

    Thank you so much for your coverage of Vpstart Crow and your kind words. Our cup truly runneth over. You’re providing a very valuable service to the entire Potomac Region theatre community, and I do thank you for all your efforts.

    Very best regards,

    Jay Tilley
    Media Relations
    Vpstart Crow Productions