December 3, 2004 |
Out, damned spot. And while you're at it, out, damned Duncan, damned Banquo, damned witches, damned Macduff, damned everybody. "Macbeth" at REDCAT is only Macbeth. And even that isn't quite true. "Macbeth (A Modern Ecstasy)" at REDCAT is the embodiment of Macbeth, the spirit of Shakespeare made flesh. It is the performance of a single actor, Stephen Dillane, and it is a performance -- prodigious, incandescent, incantatory -- that defies belief.
November 21, 2004 |
In a nearly pitch-dark room, the banquet scene from Shakespeare's "Macbeth" is coming alive. "Come, love and health to all ... ," intones the host as he crosses a stage covered with shimmering black sand and makes his way toward a bank of chairs that are suddenly -- and invisibly -- filled with feasting guests. A ghost appears as the tormented Macbeth proposes a toast: "I drink to th' general joy o' th' whole table, / And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss."
October 1, 2004 |
Ian McKellen is still adjusting to the fact that he turned 70 this year. "You always think that 70 is the end of the road: 'Somebody died when they were 73; good life,' " he mused on a recent bright fall afternoon, looking wistfully out a hotel window at the flame-tipped trees of Central Park below. "You're closer to death, and you better make sure you don't waste too much of your time doing things you don't want to do. No point in saying things you don't believe in." The renowned Shakespearean was in town to promote his latest project, "The Prisoner," a remake of the cult 1960s British drama about a Big Brother society, which begins Sunday on AMC. It was the day after the New York premiere, and a round of morning interviews seemed to have sapped his energy.
August 19, 2004
Re "A Thorny Tweak for the Rose," Aug. 13: Blue roses indeed. It's sacrilege! I hope the tinkerers get stuck good for their own handiwork. As the witch in "Macbeth" said: "By the pricking of my thumb, something wicked this way comes." Robert Bartow Calabasas
August 13, 2004 |
The hair-raiser in Shakespeare Orange County's relatively sanitized, open-air "Macbeth" at the Festival Amphitheatre is whether two actors will inadvertently decapitate each other during the clash and lunge of some quite lethal-looking swordplay. Not that the dark tale of a brave warrior who butchers his way to damnation must drip in slasher movie gore. Trevor Norton's abstract, bold ramp set and William Georges' artful tartan shadows are sufficiently eerie to set the mood under the night sky.
March 5, 2004 |
Among the many virtues in Circus Theatricals' and Odyssey Theatre's edgy, contemporary-styled co-production of "Macbeth," by far the most striking is Jack Stehlin's risky departure in the title role. Exploring Shakespeare's text in novel ways, Stehlin and director Casey Biggs reenvision Shakespeare's usurping monarch as a scrappy hyena rather than the familiar heroic warrior/poet brought down by overreaching ambition and hubris.
September 28, 2003 |
When Britain's Eddie Izzard made his Broadway debut this year in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg," he surprised many with his dramatic turn in the Peter Nichols play about a couple coping with a severely disabled child. He also received strong reviews and a Tony nomination for the role, which he earlier played in London. Not bad for a man who made a name for himself as a cross-dressing stand-up comic.
July 6, 2003 |
Each shudder takes the mattress by surprise, though guilt's hard pillow stares you in the face; the curtains whisper their beguiling lies, but sleep the soft eraser can't erase. The night pretends it has no word for me, I who have walked the corridors in fear of each new-murdered ghost's philosophy, of acts whose rumor echoes in my ear. Who when he sleeps is threatened by the real? The falling ladders seem to comprehend the fall of states; the nightmare robbers steal the dagger clenched within the sleeper's hand.
October 31, 2002 |
Last Friday at noon, several winning young Russian singers from the Kirov Opera gathered on a small makeshift stage on the Santa Monica pier to offer a concert for all who happened by. It was unusual, but not unpleasant, to hear opera at the beach. The weather, threatening rain, was also unusual but far more comfortable and suitable to intense Russian emotion than bright sunshine would have been.