Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review of Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Macbeth. It was by William Shakespeare and it was adapted and directed by Kirsten Kelly. It was about a man named Macbeth (Chris Genebach) who wanted to be king because these witches (Kevin Cox, Tiffany Yvonne Cox, and Andrea San Miguel) have told him he will become king and he wants to be king as fast as possible. And his wife, Lady Macbeth (Lanise Antoine Shelley), told him that he could become king faster if he killed the current king, Duncan (Jeffrey Baumgartner). But, of course, I don't think his wife was really thinking through these ideas because at some point someone will eventually find out that he killed the king and he will probably get his head chopped off or something. It is about war, magic, and regret. I really really liked this show. I thought the adaptation and acting were great and that they didn't make it so kid-friendly that it wasn't scary, but it wasn't so scary that kids can't watch it.

I though that the witches were super awesome. They wore these crazy creepy masks (designed by Melissa Veal). They were so creepy because they basically didn't even have faces because their faces were like spider webs with eyeholes, and that was very creepy as you can probably imagine. The witches had each a very distinct character because they each had a different distinct voice, which made them more interesting. Usually they all just have a classic witch voice. But here only one of them (San Miguel) had a classic witch voice. Kevin Cox had a Smaug-like voice and Tiffany Yvonne Cox had a more insane-person voice, like she was seeing things that were not actually there. I found that part quite scary. The witches moved around on stage like they were trying to hide from something constantly. I thought that was terrifying because you felt like there could be an apparition or a creepy baby right behind you at any moment. I liked how they were possessed by different apparitions and they would talk in different voices. That was very cool because usually they just have other people being the apparitions instead of the witches being possessed.

Macbeth and Lady MacBeth were both very much in love but maybe too much in love because Macbeth takes her advice no matter what it is. I don't think that is a very good marriage because I feel like you should keep a marriage interesting by not just agreeing with everything the other person says. I think they should have gotten divorced or just left and forgotten the whole thing so that then they could both live happy lives instead of going crazy. I liked how Macbeth was very loyal to his wife and he seemed like he loved her very much, so it was sadder when she became evil. I liked how Macbeth acted when he was around Banquo because he seemed like his best friend but then when he had to kill him, he didn't really seem to care. I liked that transformation. And when he sees him as a ghost, he acts like Banquo is really there, not just a trick of the eye because, when he was over there, he was trying to push him out and he acted like "You are supposed to be dead not right here at my party. I'm trying to have a good time with my friends who are still alive!" Lady Macbeth just seemed so insane and evil and you hated her so much--in a good way. I don't think they tried to make her sympathetic and that was a good idea because, when they do try to make her sympathetic, she can never be because of the horrible things she is doing to people. Instead when you watch it you should just revel in how evil she is because you like to have a wicked character because then, when the good guy wins, you just feel so happy.

I liked how in the scene when Macduff (Nicholas Harazin) comes to see Macbeth and the king, he comes with his wife Lady Macduff (Tiffany Yvonne Cox). That's not how it always happens, but I liked how they did that so they had more women who had larger roles. She gets to say all of Lennox's lines in the scene and I thought that was cool. I think in this version of the show it seemed like there was more than one clever woman, and she wasn't clever for evil purposes. And it seemed like the Macduffs' relationship was a good one because they seemed happy together before he had to flee. I though Lady Macduff's murder scene was so sad because she was just with her little baby and it was just a few seconds after talking to her cousin Ross (La Shawn Banks) and this man (Baumgartner) had told her that she should run away with her children and everyone who was there because there were murderers coming. The scene where Ross went to tell Macduff that his wife was dead was so sad because you could see they were all in shock, but then Malcom (Steven Lee Johnson), who didn't really know these people, was like "Take it like a man" and I wanted to punch that character in the face. Of course he should take it like a man, but men can cry.

People who would like this show are people who like awesome witches, dynamic duo couples, and creepy babies. I think people should definitely go see this show. I had a lot of fun seeing it with my friend Lana; sometimes we both needed to hide from the witches. I really had so much fun at this show. It was so scary, but it was so much fun.

Photos: Liz Lauren

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