“Currier shaped the action so that it supports and deepens the understanding of the text….Currier has assembled a strong cast with well-known Shakespearean actor Barry Kraft in the title role….
The major episodes in Act I are vigorously executed….Cassius… (brilliantly played by Jack Powell)… is the best piece of character drawing — the genuine radical and driving wheel of revolution. Elsman’s Antony is a straight and sure-fire role embellished with splendid orations. Brutus, beautifully portrayed by Karnes, is a real challenge. He is not the hero-villain whose fall inspires awe, nor the eager hero who commands our sympathy….I applaud the efforts of Director, cast and crew to bring the story of Julius Caesar to life for us.”
– Flora Lynn Isaacson, San Francisco Bay Times
“…fine performances by Jack Powell as Cassius, the head conspirator, and Cat Thompson as passionate Portia, Brutus’ equally thoughtful spouse….[Orson] Welles indicated the credentials for the actor to play Brutus; the audience must believe he’s a thinker, ‘someone who thinks offstage as well as on.’ Jay Karnes has this quality, a rare grace among performers.”
– Ken Bullock, Commuter Times
"Like a Colossus, Marin Shakespeare Competes With the Heavyweights
One might say Barry Kraft has done it all when it comes to Shakespeare. Kraft has acted in all thirty-eight of Shakespeare’s plays, with more than one hundred roles and eighty-four productions under his belt. How’s that for gusto? He’s also served as dramaturge at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for twenty-three seasons.
Kraft last acted on the Marin Shakespeare stage in 2006, reigning supreme in the title role of King Lear. Now he gives his all as Julius Caesar, and although we love Kraft, this is not a particularly likable Caesar.
He enters from above like a god, tossing laurel wreaths to the people below and presidential baby kissing as he descends into the masses. This Caesar is arrogant and almost snide. He’s also frail, and there’s no doubt this Caesar suffers from the 'falling sickness,' as Kraft enters the stage beaded in sweat, his hands shaking and with portentous evidence of a fall swelling on his forehead.