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"“Coriolanus: Fight Like a Bitch”: Far from gimmicky, this all-female production of an infrequently produced Shakespeare play was directed with cool precision by Emily Penick. In the lead role, a swaggering Nike Imoru could’ve carried the whole thing single-handedly, but the sharp supporting cast included a subtly conniving Wendy Robie and a harried Kate Witt as a lone beacon of sanity in a world gone mad." Dusty Somers, Footlight Awards-the Best and Most Notable Theater in Seattle in 2017 Also, a hearty Rebel Kat Congratulations to Nike Imoru, who played Coriolanus for receiving a Footlight Award (Misha Berson) “Actor bringing it: Nike Imoru’s classical chops and sizzling charisma lit up “Bring Down the House” (Seattle Shakespeare Company), “Coriolanus” (Rebel Kat Productions) and Imoru’s searing autobiographical solo show “Ode.” Full article here: https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/theater/footlight-awards-the-best-and-most-notable-in-seattle-theater-in-2017/
Coriolanus: Fight Like a Bitch is nominated for four 2017 Gypsy Rose Lee Awards by Seattle Theater Writers for Excellence in the Large Theater category: Nike Imoru - Lead Actor (Female), Wendy Robie - Supporting Actor (Female), Julia Welch - Excellence in Set Design, Sharath Patel and Josh Schmidt - Excellence in Sound Design Congratulations to all!
"The relentless, driving direction of Emily Penick kept this story of war, loyalty and betrayal tense and exciting, and the performances were masterful (mistressful?), with emphasis on Nike Imoru as the title character. Rough, confident and utterly compelling as the complex Roman general shoved uncomfortably from the glory of war into politics, Imoru gave us a fully realized, three-dimensional human character, brutal and sometimes funny, fiery and tragic. I found myself booing her tyranny, empathizing with her complexity and cheering her victories." "Wendy Robbie (of Twin Peaks and People Under the Stairs fame) is Coriolanus’ clever and pushy mother—kind of the ultimate Mama Rose—and I was impressed by her strong Shakespearean chops and focused performance. Some other compelling performances asserted themselves: Kate Witt as Menenius Agrippa, the harried and suffering political pragmatist trying to hold the Empire together and quell the insurrection of her starving, angry citizens. She was both humorous and fraught, with just
"Having doubts about William Shakespeare’s relevance to present-day politics? “Coriolanus” will quickly dispatch those." "Returned home from victory in battle, Roman general Caius Martius is persuaded to run for political office, and despite the general’s denigrations of the working class, its members feel compelled to support him." "Making its debut, Rebel Kat Productions’ staging of “Coriolanus” (subtitle: “Fight Like a Bitch”) features an all-female cast, and unlike most gender-reversed castings, the women aren’t merely playing male roles. All of the characters have been changed to women, with pronoun adjustments to match." "This is far from a gimmick. Aside from the music (pulsing electronic beats during scene changes and — ugh — Imagine Dragons tunes at intermission) this is largely a faithful classical adaptation, directed with clear-cut precision by Emily Penick. There is no winking about the fact that these traditionally male characters are now female — and there shouldn’t be. Every soldier, senator
"I liked all of the cast but Nike Imoru is an ideal Coriolanus…touch[sic] as nails but with just the right touch of sardonic humor. Kate Witt was exceptional as Roman politician Agrippa, bringing just the right amount of “Hilary-esque” grit to her role. (Note to Seattle theaters: cast Kate Witt in more shows!) Colleen Carey (who is lead producer of this project) was appropriately menacing and tough as the Volsician general Aufidius. She brought a nice rock ‘n’ roll swagger to the part. It was also great to have veteran stage and television actor Wendy Robie back on a Seattle stage as the barracuda mother Volumnia, an adept player of politics both public and familial." Read the entire review here: http://seattlegayscene.com/2017/11/review-burning-like-a-bitch-at-12th-avenue-arts/
"My brain told me to side with the tribunes representing the people who were being callously starved to death, but because director Emily Penick didn't emphasize their suffering, because they behaved like a mob, and because Nike Imoru's portrayal of Coriolanus was so complex, my sympathies were on the side of the dictator." Read the entire review here: https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2017/10/24/25490040/nike-imoru-is-so-good-shell-make-you-love-the-tyrant-in-shakespeares-coriolanus
"Nike Imoru’s performance of Coriolanus is reason enough to see 12 Ave Arts’ Coriolanus. Shakespearian language seems native to Imoru. At times she seemed to be speaking to the audience when addressing an angry mob of peasants on stage, showcasing her ability to connect with her audience and draw them in closer. Her comfort with this dialogue attributed to the swagger that she brought to her character. Again, nothing was lost on the character of Coriolanus from Imoru’s performance. Her performance was a testament to the wider range of roles that women in theater deserve. Wendy Robie, who played Volumnia, was also a master of Shakespearian language. She too was a treat to listen too[sic]." Read the entire review here: http://www.dramainthehood.net/2017/10/coriolanus-12-ave-arts/
"Communicating character is the strength of “Fight Like a Bitch”. The actors in this production bring so much more depth to the characters than I found when I studied the play in college. Nike Imoru, with her lean build and larger-than-life action, is completely credible as Coriolanus, the honor-bound warrior whose arrogance makes her completely unfit for public office. Coriolanus has more respect for the opposing army’s general Aufidius than she has for the citizens she is supposed to protect. I almost couldn’t blame her. Colleen Carey’s tough-as-nails Aufidius, who fights for a cause greater than glory, but always falls short of victory, deserves to be a protagonist. The scheming tribunes (Katherine Jett and Yadira Duarte) are petty and ambitious, but even in their smear campaign against Coriolanus, they are defending democracy. Wendy Robie as Coriolanus’ mother (one of the few roles originally written as female) is the best “bitch” of