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Theater | THE MANY FACES OF / DAKIN MATTHEWS

A Renaissance man of the stage and page

September 03, 2006|Lynne Heffley

WHEN people refer to Dakin Matthews as one of theater's most versatile figures, they aren't exaggerating. He's an actor, director, playwright, classics scholar and translator of 17th century Italian comedy. He also co-founded Los Angeles' Antaeus Theatre Company and the Andak Stage Company. And if that isn't enough, in his spare time he appears in TV and in film. Just give this 62-year-old actor a role -- a clown, a tragedian, a Moliere buffoon or a Shakespearean schemer -- and watch him disappear into it, chameleon-like.

Matthews can be seen at the Mark Taper Forum through Sept. 17 at his evil best playing a ruthless power broker in Richard Montoya's "Water & Power." Theatergoers may remember him this year as an eerie body double for Alfred Hitchcock in Terry Johnson's "Hitchcock Blonde" at South Coast Repertory; or scowling his way to war as Vice President Dick Cheney in David Hare's "Stuff Happens" at the Taper last year; or as a commanding, dictatorial Julius Caesar in Shakespeare Festival/LA's 1998 production of Shakespeare's tragedy, staged on the steps of City Hall.

-- Lynne Heffley

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