Othello, Shakespeare & Company

Stables Theater at the Mount, Lenox, Mass.
July 5 – August 27, 1995

Orpheum Theatre, Foxboro, Mass.
September 22 – October 1, 1995

As Othello, with Tod Randolph as Desdemona (PHOTO: Richard Bambery)

Critical Response

Othello does have a charismatic lead in Johnny Lee Davenport.”
—Ed Siegel, The Boston Globe (July 7, 1995)

“[P]articularly affecting are lead actors Johnny Lee Davenport and Tod Randolph, as Othello and Desdemona respectively.”
—Irene Backalenick, Theater Week “Letter from the Berkshires” (August 14-20, 1995)

Johnny Lee Davenport’s Othello is a strong physical presence (he’s big and brooding) and yet there is a simplicity about his love for Desdemona that is very appealing. Davenport’s Othello is a man among men but a schoolboy in love when Desdemona twinkles her eyes at him. Later, when jealousy and rage have taken over, Davenport is fierce and makes you believe in a man who has lost his commonsense. He even does a good job of managing Shakespeare’s somewhat awkward transformation from powerful general to dupe in a strong, unambiguous reading of the role.”
—William K. Gale, Providence Journal (September 26, 1995)

“As Othello, Johnny Lee Davenport is noble and honest, perhaps not so much imposing as admirable, and in the moments of overwhelming anger he is immensely powerful.”
—John L. Lehman, The Patriot Ledger (September 26, 1995)

“The leading roles are perfectly cast. Davenport is a macho-looking black man with the self-assurance of a soldier until he is pricked by Iago’s insinuations. He is so quick to pick up on Iago’s suggestions that one must suspect the general wears his honors insecurely. . . . Davenport portrays Othello as the noble savage: childlike in the rapid swing of his emotions from love to hate.”
—Iris Fanger, The Boston Herald (September 26, 1995)

Leave a Reply