Othello | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Othello 

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Othello, Chronicles Theater Company, at the Theatre Building. For many years it was the fashion to focus on the racial dimension of Shakespeare's tale. But in this company's debut production, director Bobby Zaman rejects that approach, instead painting a picture of newlyweds so absorbed in each other that they fail to notice those working to destroy their marriage.

Playing the scheming Iago, Christopher Gausselin comes off less a con artist than a loudmouthed bully apt to settle differences with a brawl. He strong-arms Roderigo, Desdemona's jilted suitor, as if he were a runty kid brother. But Tim Joyce portrays Desdemona's father with blustery expertise, and Othello and Desdemona are given a heartbreaking innocence by Rodrick Jean-Charles and Cathleen Hennon. In the end, the very intensity of their mutual trust is what undoes them both.

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