Entertainment » Theatre

Macbeth

by Rodney Rodriguez
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jun 28, 2016
Macbeth

The summer heat means the start to a sizzling line-up at The Old Globe's annual summer Shakespeare Festival and this year will not disappoint, San Diego. The season starts with a disturbing and unnerving rendition of one of the Bard's most iconic dramas and ends with a light-hearted and feathery comedy filled with Old English rom-com charm.

First up on stage is "Macbeth," the iconic tragedy filled with ghosts, witches, uneasy predictions, supernatural elements and genuine horror. Power is intoxicating for those who attain it and for those who aspire for it. When love and ambition mix, the results can be deadly. Now playing on The Old Globe's Lowell Davies Festival Stage, this rendition of the Scottish Play is shocking, engaging, and a wonderful departure from the safety the Old Globe typically provides.

Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and director Brian Kulick took a risk in presenting this as a horror and it pays off. Dark, brooding, and bloody, some brilliant decisions were made to elevate the supernatural elements of the script and enhance the spook factor exponentially. Part Shakespeare and part Silent Hill, nearly every minute was fantastically frightening.

Jonathan Cake's Macbeth dove headfirst into the madness that drives Macbeth to murder and his devolution is a delight to watch. Marsha Stephanie Blake's performance as Lady Macbeth was piercing and unsettling. Enriching the terror is an ensemble that does not quit. Distressing and first-rate, this rendition is guaranteed to leave audiences enjoyably uneasy.

Arnulfo Maldonado's scenic design eloquently lent to the intense story-telling transforming a light, dingy and eerie background into a shadowy, murderous environment paralleling Macbeth's dive into insanity. Dramatic and effective, it easily became the most interesting aspect of the show as it evolved. Jason Lyons lighting design provided those necessary shadows and set the stage awash in blood but did so delicately. Balance is difficult to achieve when the throttle has been opened fully but technically this show was superbly balanced.

A chilling and frightfully wonderful start to the summer Shakespeare season, Macbeth will surely not disappoint.

Full of promise, this season features two Shakespearean classics, one brooding drama and one raucous comedy, as well as a classic and a world premiere. The next few months offer plenty to see for all audiences.

"Sense and Sensibility" (July 6 - August 14) - Jane Austen's timeless classic is transformed into a thrillingly romantic musical. A West Coast Premiere!

"Meteor Shower" (July 30 - September 11) - The return of legend Steve Martin who pens this surprising new comedy which takes an offbeat and absurdist look at the comic anxiety lurking just beneath the surface of modern marriage. A World Premiere!

"Love's Labor's Lost" (August 14 - September 18) - Shakespeare's delightful romantic comedy is an unabashed celebration of innocence, idealism, and the sweet folly of young love. Lighthearted and fun, a perfect ending to a spectacular summer of shows!

"Macbeth" runs through July 24 in the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. For information or tickets, call 619-23-GLOBE or visit www.TheOldGlobe.org.

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