October 2, 2005 |
THE solo musical comedy starring Amanda McBroom that opens off-Broadway tonight was called "Lady Macbeth Sings the Blues" when it premiered in June at Ventura's Rubicon Theatre. Now it's "A Woman of Will." A venerable superstition has struck again -- that it's bad luck for theater artists to utter the name "Macbeth." The same superstition is part of the premise of Lee Blessing's "The Scottish Play," a comedy about an ill-fated "Macbeth" production now at La Jolla Playhouse.
February 11, 1997 |
Why set "Macbeth" in the Toltec empire, an Indian civilization that dominated parts of Central America from the 11th to the 13th centuries? Don't look for an answer in Will & Company's irredeemably bad version of the Scottish play, which, indeed is set there. For one thing, the actors look ridiculous. They are dressed in what is essentially adult diapers with flaps, exposing the wrinkles and folds that the flesh is heir to.
October 26, 2000 |
"Macbeth," that grimmest of Shakespearean tragedies, as a slapstick comedy? Well, sure. In fact, what playwright Richard Nathan does in "Scots on the Rocks," at the Chandler Studio, isn't exactly new. In the '60s, Archibald Macleish transformed what actors always superstitiously refer to as "The Scottish Tragedy" into his spoof "Macbird."
March 6, 1991 |
The first thing it's important to remember about Charles Marowitz's "A Macbeth" is that it is this season's inaugural lab production at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble--a place, according to a leaflet from the theater, where "plays are often more experimental, more avant-garde, more likely to balance on the edge of the unusual and unconventional." That said, let's add that "A Macbeth" fits roughly half the description.
June 16, 2004 |
"What is it about men and cars?" muses Kate, the troubled songwriter heroine of "Lady Macbeth Sings the Blues," in the wake of her husband's phone call brimming with coded agendas. "After all these years I know when he says, 'check your oil' he means 'I love you.' But still, it doesn't quite have the ring of 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day....'
July 22, 1996 |
Shakespeare Orange County's (SOC) handsome staging of "The Tragedy of Macbeth," which opened Friday at the Waltmar Theatre, brings a ceremonial richness to Shakespeare's stark, swift and bloody drama of evil incarnate. But that is not the only icing on this substantial cake.
July 19, 2012 |
Meet the Macbeths, a charming, upwardly mobile couple grieving over the death of their only child. Director Jessica Kubzansky's interpretation of Shakespeare's “Macbeth,” currently on view in a satisfyingly foggy, bloody production by the Antaeus Company, opens with a funeral. Macbeth (Rob Nagle in the performance I saw; all the roles are double-cast) and his wife (Tessa Auberjonois) place a tiny shrouded body in a coffin, wordlessly but movingly communicating the couple's grief and mutual love.
October 29, 1994 |
"Macbeth" has the reputation in theatrical circles as an unlucky play. Actors call it "The Scottish Play" so as not to call down upon themselves the curse associated with uttering the proper name of this brutal, haunted story of ambition run amok. It has been blamed for onstage deaths, hauntings and all manner of ill fortune. It is acknowledged as a play of tremendous power: to quote it in the dressing room is to invite disaster.
March 21, 2013 |
If the title of Donald Freed's new play, now at the Skylight Theatre, doesn't prompt you to quote Macbeth (“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…”), you are probably not its intended demographic. The heart of “Tomorrow” is three actors discussing and rehearsing scenes from the Shakespeare tragedy. And, yes, it sounds dry and cerebral, like something only a dramaturge would be into. As I actually have a degree in dramaturgy, you might roll your eyes when I say I was on the edge of my seat as I watched the characters hunt Lady Macbeth's psychology through the text, history and their own pasts.