Saturday December 3, 2011 / 8:00pmYou, Nero
How was your experience?
Arena Stage is a great venue. It is both Metro-accessible and easy to drive to and park. The on-site cafe and concessions stands offer tasty, if a bit overpriced, food and drink. There are a number of restaurants nearby as well, some offering theatre specials. The seats in the Fichandler are a bit cramped: at 5'4", 120lbs., I am on the small side, and I had some difficulty juggling my coat, purse, and drink while getting seated. There is a coat check, but it was a bit chilly, so I chose to keep my coat with me. As far as the play, some changes have been made to it since previous reviews were posted: Jeff McCarthy has assumed the role of protagonist and narrator Scribonious, and the characters appear in different sequence than noted in the program. Having joined the cast just days before I saw the play, McCarthy referred to notes throughout, but doing so did not detract from his performance. The other actors were all good as well, and made good use of the Fichandler's 360° stage. I think the play draws interesting comparisons between Nero's Rome -- from his family drama to his obsession with the arts to the spectacle at the Colosseum -- and today's reality TV culture. I didn't consider it "uproariously funny" but there are some LOL moments. I also didn't consider it homophobic, although I found the use of the F_____ word twice, maybe three times, unnecessary.