By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sam Gold
Through July 10
Fair is foul, and foul is fair, Hover through the fog and filthy air...
By Lauren Yarger
Something's foul, all right: it's the latest rendition of Macbeth featuring retiring James Bond film star Daniel Craig. Maybe it's the imagined stench from the disgusting cauldron in which the witches brew blood, human flesh and heaven only knows what else. More likely, it is just the smell of money and the staging of a royalty-free Broadway show with a star in it just to cause traffic at the box office. Because there can be few other reasons for mounting this production full of poor choices directed by Sam Gold.
Costume Designer Suttirat Larlarb throws some dressing gowns and large coats on the actors (making sure we get a chance to admire Craig's chiseled physique) as they walk around a bare stage with no sets, sans a few oversized comfy chairs, a very long table and some other props -- a real waste of Scenic Designer Christine Jones's talent. Macbeth (Craig) and his wife (a solid Ruth Negga in her Broadway debut) plot murder to gain power, then can't live with the guilt. I will leave you to Cliff notes if you aren't familiar with the Shakespeare classic tale of ambition and power that gives us the quote:
"Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
This quote is appropriate for this production as almost none of the choices made mean anything, including:
- witches on stage shopping vegetables while the audience enters
- people on the other side of the stage doing something no one could discern
- having Michael Patrick Thornton, who plays Lennox and a murderer, wheel out in his chair on stage at the top of the show to encourage the audience to say "Macbeth" out loud in the theater (this is a theater superstition --NO ONE does this. You say The Scottish Play instead.)
- handing an actor by his feet and having his throat slit
- having the same actor appear later with a severed limb. We assume it was thrown in the pot from which characters are given bowls to consume. I half expected Macbeth to say he wanted his shaken, not stirred....
- having the finale be a group sit-in while munching the brew and listening to a song composed by Gaelynn Lea. There is something evil being celebrated.
- Staging some of the action in the wings where it was completely out of the line of site for a large portion of the audience house left.
- Having Macbeth toss back a cold beer after a kill, causing the audience to laugh during the Sleep No More speech. AT LEAST MAKE IT A JAMES BOND MARTINI SO THE LAUGHTER WOULD BE JUSTIFIED.
- Fog. More fog. So much fog. But dispensed by actors walking around the stage with fog machines. Some more fog came out of costumes. Why couldn't it just be a regular foggy Scotland setting?
-- Blood. Lots of it and gory injuries
-- Lord's name taken in vain
-- Satanic ritual
All guests must wear a properly fitting mask over the nose and mouth in the theatre except when eating or drinking in designated areas. Guests who do not comply with these policies will be denied entry or asked to leave the theatre.