I recently had the opportunity to see Lincoln Center Theater’s new production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, directed by the Tony Award winning Director Jack O’Brian (Hairspray, Henry IV and The Coast of Utopia).
Often considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful tragedies, the storyline is full of themes including corruption, hypocrisy and deceit. In modern day terms, Macbeth is the ultimate social climber and is willing to do anything (including murder) to get there. Overall the show had many strong elements that made this a very good production, but unfortunately it was missing a few pieces to make it a great production.
Bravo to the creative team who was able to beautifully represent Shakespeare’s dark nightmarish story; Japhy Weidemans ominous lighting design, Catherine Zuber’s contemporary but very traditional costume design and Scott Pask’s minimalistic set design all set the perfect backdrop for this dark tale.
The weird sisters/witches, played by Byron Jennings, John Glover and Malcolm Gets, gave a great performance, in my opinion the best in the production, stealing focus from the rest of the cast. (Keeping these roles played by men is how it would have been done in Shakespeare’s time since women were prohibited from appearing on stage).
While Ethan Hawke’s portrayal of Macbeth was a good effort, his portrayal seemed inconsistent and often times unbelievable. His performance was often overshadowed by Anne-Marie Duff’s strong dramatic interpretation of Lady Macbeth (Anne-Marie Duff is an English Actress making her LCT and American theater debut).
If Shakespearean dark tragedies are your thing, (or you are an Ethan Hawke fan and don’t care how well his performance was) I would recommend you check this production out. Macbeth is playing at the Vivienne Beaumont Theater until January 12, 2014, so hurry and purchase your tickets.
By: Peter Themistocles