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Ides of March: Beware the Ides of March!


Julius Caesar has been dead for thousands of years, but since we’re literature nerds, the Ides of March is pretty much a holiday for us.

The term ‘Ides’ was used for the 15th day of the month of March on the Roman calendar. Back in B.C. times the Ides of March was a day dedicated to the god Mars and a cause for celebration.

It is also the day in 44 B.C. that Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate by Brutus.


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Caesar had been warned by a seer that something horrible would befall him on the Ides of March. Caesar later joked, “Well, the Ides of March have come.” The seer replied, “Ay, they have come, but they are not gone.”

Naturally, we are going to take every opportunity to play out that scene on Tuesday. And you should too. Be warned.

“Et tu Brute?!”

And if you really want to celebrate Shakespeare style, head over to Hofstra University through March 20.

Before there was One Life to Live, Melrose Place and Desperate Housewives, the Bard got his dirty on…live…at a time when a less-than-entertained audience throwing things on the stage was the norm.

There was no TiVo, no fake laughter to dub in, no commercials, no take two’s.Yet, this guy managed to keep the house packed.

The first Hofstra Shakespeare Festival, featuring Julius Caesar, opened in 1950. Since then people like comic genius Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and Tony-nominees like Tom McGowan and Peter Friedman have been involved. Steve Buscemi, Kyra Sedgewick and Brian Dennehy performed in the Shakespeare Festival as teens.

This year the main play will be The War of the Roses, A One-Evening Version of Shakespeare’s Henry VI Trilogy, the companion play a new one-hour adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream titled What Fools! In Charlie Sheen language, this would be considered “bi-winning.”

HEMPSTEAD

62nd Annual Shakespeare Festival @ John Cranford Adams Playhouse, Hofstra

Hempstead Turnpike. 516-463-6644. www.hofstra.edu/drama-dance

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