An ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ Set in the Caribbean

March 6, 2014 5:05 AM

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An ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ Set in the Caribbean

You know that Caribbean vacation you’ve been dreaming about in these last draggy days of winter? Well, you may want to rethink such fantasies after you see the Tarell Alvin McCraney’s squishy, misbegotten “Antony and Cleopatra,” which resets Shakespeare’s tragedy on the island of Hispaniola during the reign of the French.

True, as designed by Tom Piper, this production — which opened at the Public Theater on Wednesday night — looks travel-brochure seductive at first, with its beckoning seascape of gleaming water and airy shades of blue. But be warned. Swimming equals death here: When characters get wet, in the rippli...

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