Monday, November 8, 2010

GreenStage Macbeth is a fun splatter-fest

GreenStage is really onto something with its "hard bard" indoor shows for Halloween. Last year's production of Titus Andronicus was a laugh riot drenched in theater gore. This year's Macbeth, directed by Ken Holmes, wasn't quite so bloody as Titus, but there were still plenty of gashes and gags to keep the audience in stitches.

Amelia Meckler, left, and Ryan Spickard as Lady Macbeth
and Macbeth. Photo: GreenStage.
Ryan Spickard and Amelia Meckler were marvelous as Macbeth and Lady M. Though one had to feel a bit for Spickard, who was often upstaged by the antics of the rest of the cast. He was doing a pretty straight Macbeth, or at least as straight as could be given the circumstances, while everyone else really hammed it up with over-the-top performances.

Every once in a while we lament that some folks take their Shakespeare way too seriously. GreenStage does not have that problem! Holmes and company are skilled at re-imagining these plays as so violent they become humorous, and finding countless little touches in the text that take on a whole new meaning given their interpretations. The Banquo (Sam Hagen) haunting-the-king scene was wickedly funny. My favorite touch: having the "minor" thanes do all of their lines as a barbershop quartet. Inspired! They're not making fun of the plays at all, just pushing them to their limits. They're smart interpretations that tell the stories incredibly well.

GreenStage plans to produce Antony & Cleopatra and The Tempest for their outdoor season next summer. We hope they'll be back with another bloody good hard Bard show next fall.

No comments: