I wonder what the Bard himself would think, had it been him instead of me planted in the seventh row center of the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center, watching this late romance of his being played out in its vast confines. Would he have loved the elements of spectacle enabled by the high fly spaces and hydraulics (not to mention budgets), or would he have felt something human and approachable was lost amid the amazing costumes sets and effects?
“Cymbeline” is one of Shakespeare’s least-produced plays, but it’s certainly not for lack of action. Love, betrayal, jealousy, intrigue – it’s all here. And though it’s beautifully-stage and acted with energy and intelligence (with special kudos to Martha Plimpton, John Pankow and Adam Dannheisser, less for the one-dimensional Phylicia Rashad), it left me feeling chilly and unsatisfied. (Though the glory of Shakespeare’s language still comes shining through.)