August 24, 1997 |
Along with Orson Welles' three films, Akira Kurosawa's very free 1957 adaptation of "Macbeth" is the most cinematically potent Shakespearean transcription ever. Kurosawa cross-pollinates the play with Noh staging and his own hell-for-leather samurai action. It's an inspiring cultural hybrid.
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.
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.
April 9, 2008 |
NEW YORK -- Patrick Stewart's suave performance in the Chichester Festival Theatre production of "Macbeth," which opened Tuesday at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway, can be scored a triumph, but it comes with a few provisos. Hardly anyone ever gets this most tempting of Shakespearean roles right. By comparison, Hamlet, Othello and King Lear -- tough as they are to pull off -- are more amenable to partial successes. When actors fail in these parts, they tend to fail upward.
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.
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.