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.
May 13, 2013 |
Sometimes a performance is so finely adept that you forget the actor and see only the character. The dancer is inseparable from the dance, to borrow Yeats' timeless formulation. Glynn Turman's portrayal of Bynum in the stunning Mark Taper Forum revival of "Joe Turner's Come and Gone” is such a performance. Playing an older boardinghouse resident with clairvoyant vision and a penchant for old country magic, Turman makes this eccentric character seem so natural that it's as if he wandered into the theater from an open door backstage.
July 10, 2013 |
Kenneth Branagh is back in Bard territory with a new production of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" that he stars in and co-directed with Rob Ashford at the Manchester International Festival in England. The production marks the first time Branagh has played the Scottish thane and is the actor's first Shakespearean stage role since he played "Richard III" in 2002. "Macbeth" is being performed in a deconsecrated church in the Manchester area. (Branagh-philes will recall that his 1995 comedy "A Midwinter's Tale" featured a production of "Hamlet" set in an old English church .)
April 14, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Like world-class athletes, actors often measure their achievements by the degree of difficulty. Does a part require an unusual amount of range? An extraordinary number of man hours? Is it simply a matter of a chewy set of lines to get one's lips around? By all these standards, Alan Cumming would be an extreme-sports medalist. In a stage turn that will last nearly two hours, Cumming is set to play the part of Macbeth. Or, rather, the parts of Macbeth, as he tackles 15 roles from the Shakespearean tragedy, including the title character, Banquo, Duncan, Lady Macbeth and plenty of others (as well as, in a story that frames the performance, a disoriented mental patient reenacting the play)
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.
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.
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.
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.