NEW YORK – Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" is a political thriller and the version now being performed by The Public Theater in Central Park doesn't skimp on drama.
In this case, though, the drama isn't about the plot, which was written some 400 years ago, but about the way Julius Caesar, an ancient Roman dictator, is depicted: in a business suit with an American flag pin, a long tie, and reddish-blond hair.
In Shakespeare's story, Caesar is violently stabbed in the back by rival politicians, and the fact that this version's Caesar bears a striking resemblance to President Trump is raising eyebrows.
"I don't advocate violence on the president of the U.S. no matter what party they're in," said Pamela Sims, who was waiting in line for free tickets outside the Delacorte Theater.
"It's just concerning we're seeing more and more violent rhetoric towards our president in the form of the arts and Hollywood," said Chris Caulfield, who is visiting from Texas. "We all need to take a deep breath and remember most of us are somewhere in the middle."
Despite those opinions, the majority of people waiting in line for tickets to the play say they think the director should have creative license to tell the story as he pleases.
"If Trump is drawing parallels in history so be it," said Amy Cohen, in line for tickets. "But this was here long before, Shakespeare is often done in different time frames, so I don't find anything inappropriate about it."
Sam Franco, also waiting, agreed. "Art is provocative, theater is provocative," he said. "They're meant to make us reflect and make us think, they're not made to make us sit comfortably."