Caesar; or, The Watchdog of the Castle: Paws Up!By Laura & Mike Clark • Apr 27th, 2006 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of the New Old Theatre’s production of Caesar; or, The Watchdog of the Castle[MP3 4:15 1.2MB], or read the transcript.
Laura: And tonight we saw Caesar; or, The Watchdog of the Castle. It is being performed by the New Old Theatre and is currently playing in Alexandria, Virginia.
Mike: The show is called Caesar, and is also known as The Watchdog of the Castle. It was written by W.T. Moncrieff in 1844. This is probably one of the oldest shows we’ve seen. It is performed in the gothic melodrama style. Very much like a soap opera. Someone stealing an identity to gain control of the castle. You have a villain, a hero, two lovers, and two dogs. The two dogs help protect the castle and keep things safe.
Laura: I enjoyed Caesar very much. I thought it was a good show. In the typical melodrama style, there was booing and hissing for the villlain as well as cheers aand applause for the hero and heroine. When this play was written and performed the audience would get so involved that they would start throwing things up on stage. Tonight a gentleman came out and asked us not to do that. The two canine performers tonight were Aramis nd D’artagnan. They did a good job. They were a little nervous tonight with it being opening night. Overall they did well. They had one scene where the villain got attacked by the dog, D’artagnan. That was really good and I enjoyed it very much.
Mike: There were three main characters in the show.The hero was Caesar played by Bette Cassatt. She was also the dog trainer and they did well together. She and the dogs had a lot of lines together. She even had the dogs lie down next to her. They did that well together. There was also a villain, Dervilliers, played by Dave Ferry. He did get booed and hissed at every time he came out. He did well, too. He was frustrated and at the end resigned that he had ben found out. It was interesting seeing him develop throughout the show. Georgette was the third primary character. She was played by Mundy Spears. She had a lot to do and a lot to keep straight throughout the whole play. Those three really kept the play moving.
Laura: All in all I enjoyed the show. It was off a bit, like it was missing a beat. That may have been opening night jitters. Everyone did seem to react well together. With this being a melodrama there was some over acting, but that was just keeping in the style of a melodrama. Overall I enjoyed it. The set was simple. The costumes were bright and fit the period of the 1800’s.
Mike: The show was about two hours long with an intermission. One thing we noticed was they needed a bigger audience. A lot of the action involved hissing at the villain or cheering the hero or cheering the dogs when they would do a trick. By the time people realized what was happening and clapped, it was too late. A bigger audience would be nice. All in all I would suggest going to se this show. It is very kid friendly. It is not too complicated for children to follow. They get to participate which is always fun. It is a good way to get kids involved in theater. So Caesar; or The Watchdog of the Castle is playing for three more performances at the Lee Center For the Performing Arts in Alexandria, Virginia. It is playing Wednesday, May 3rd, 17th , and 24th at 7:30 PM.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
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Laura & Mike Clark 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.