I have taught Caesar off and on for 20 years. Although it is dry, my students like it. I use the idea of power in politics to grab them. This is a good year for that. I also introduce the rhetorical triangle and rhetorical devices in this unit. The students find the rhetorical elements in the funeral speeches. I have also put Caesar on trial for tyranny. The kids really liked doing a trial because they could act as various characters in the book and we could prove once and for all if Caesar deserved to die.
I don't have any Pop in my lessons yet. This play gets overlooked when it comes to cultural references. I do use the Brando version of the play. I like to show parts before we read the play so the kids can hear how the lines should be spoken and what the characters and setting looked like.
Jeana, it is so great to see folks adding to these older (yet essential) questions. I dunno if you had a chance to watch the HBO/BBC2 mini-series 'Rome.' I REALLY wish they had continued the show. That said the episode when they killed Caesar might be a fun companion (preview it) - here is a clip from the last episode of Season 1.