Classical theater needn't be tedious, as Golden West College reminds us each season. A thundering tragedy such as "Medea" or "Oedipus Rex" can project as much immediacy as the latest realistic drama, and both have done so in the past.
A fine case in point is Shakespeare's "Othello," now holding forth triumphantly on the Golden West stage. This tale of jealousy, revenge and senseless murder is perhaps the Bard's most accessible tragedy, stirring emotions most familiar to the human heart.
"Othello" focuses less on the Moorish general who "loved not wisely, but too well" than on his embittered ensign, Iago, who plots his friend's downfall after being passed over for promotion. These are two of Shakespeare's most compelling characters, and the Golden West production, superbly directed by Tom Amen, illuminates them in richly hued detail.
In the title role, Eric Davis projects a ramrod-straight conqueror, powerful and articulate both in love and war. But as the "green-eyed monster" of jealousy begins eating away at his psyche, carefully engineered by Iago, Davis' Othello is consumed with wrathful uncertainty in an impressive portrayal.