"Liev has an incredible amount of craft and talent," says Tony Award-nominated director Moises Kaufman, who's guiding "Macbeth." "The thing that's wonderful about working with these two," he adds, referring to Schreiber and Ehle, "is that their instruments are so finely tuned - their voices, their emotions. It's delightful to watch."
Plus, the actor actually enjoys Macbeth, as a character. "I really like him," Schreiber says. "I think he's incredibly noble. Initially, his conscience won't let him kill Duncan, but when he does, his sense of nobility prevents him from blaming his wife. He's a great leader, but it's not enough. Once that seed is planted in his mind by the witches, the battle begins between his conscience and his desire."
Another day, another wide spectrum of opinion on Macbeth: "serviceable, but ultimately disappointing" and worse vs "best Macbeth...ever seen" or even best Shakespeare ever. Columbia lit lecturer and author Jenny Davidson considered the "traditional" production "extremely well done" but has fainter praise for Ms Ehle. Others also had a variety of views on her performance - squirrelchaser at BroadwayWorld is critical and wonders if Lady Macbeth is downplayed deliberately, whereas Jim in the same thread, though "prepared to dislike her", thought the perf entirely appropriate and plausible - he also recommends that those who saw the play in early previews see it again. Meg thought she did a nice job and I liked this bit about how the rain enhanced the experience:
We went amid a grey heavy sky. It was muggy outside and the sky looked like it was ready to release at any given moment. So we sat down for the play, and the lightest drizzle started. So very light. But perfect. Because when the play started, you could see this drizzle in front of the lights. And to hear the three Weird Sisters say, "When shall we three meet again/In thunder, lightning, or in rain?" was just kind of perfect.
(My favorite part of the experience: When Liev stepped out and thanked everyone for staying the whole night... he said something like "Audiences like you make this worth doing. We're all amazed you stayed." I wanted to say, "Well, Liev, for one, you're hot. Two: It's a bitch to get tickets. We have to make the most of this when we can!")
All in all, though, it was genius. Creepy, magnificent genius. And seeing it in the rain made the whole evening.
Lastly and unrelatedly, this note on Pride and Glory's score is enough to make a publicist weep:
[Mark] Isham will also score next year's Pride and Glory, which casts Jennifer Ehle in her first major acting role since Pride and Prejudice's Elizabeth.