Saturday, June 24, 2006

From film noir to Faye Dunaway

  • Listen to Liev Schreiber on Downstage Center. There's a lot on Macbeth.
  • Fishing in a Bucket criticises some of the production elements, but recommends it anyway.

    ...In the end, though, Liev Schreiber in the titular role was incredible. I was terrified that he'd fudge the "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" speech, one of my all-time favourite (and, yes, Shazz, I know you can recite it from memory), but he delivered it brilliantly; in fact, the whole play was done so well that I walked away feeling like I understood it more. That speech, in particular - I got it. I got where he was at, hearing the Queen was dead, and the inevitablity of the existential crisis which followed, albeit briefly. He loved her, the crazy old b---h.

    Speaking of the Queen: It was Jennifer Ehle!! (I expect excited emails and comments for this, please.) Now, I was predisposed to like her performance, and I know that some in our group were not as thrilled, and I'm not saying I was thrilled, but I'm saying I wasn't dissapointed. She was very... emotional. Is that the diplomatic word? I mean, a good part of her speeches were delivered with as much emotion as could be wrought. Thing is, I think this is fair, given the situation; and what I liked was, that, as I understand it, a lot of Lady MacBeths are played very cold and cynical, and, by playing it emotionally, this, to my mind, argued that the whole "un-sex" me speech didn't stand up; that it didn't work, that she couldn't escape her inhernt (womanly, emotional, arguably hysterical, and certainly consciencely-driven) nature.

    My point is: go see it. Dude. The bard? He rocketh.

  • Captain Yesterday finds that the 20th century transposition wasn't as intrusive as expected.
  • A spot of gossip:

    ...Liev Schreiber on his “Macbeth” and his sweetie Naomi Watts: “I think she finds it a little boring.

  • Kelly swoons over Mr Schreiber. Anna likes him and the play as well.
  • Despite sitting over the generator and near an annoying Google rep, David Clement says:

    Moises Kaufman's MacBeth is brilliant: engrossing, dark, surprising, relevant. It's like the best film noir ever. 3 hours felt like 20 minutes.

  • Wrote to the Delacorte requesting a seating chart and received word that one is not available because the layout changes quite a bit from show to show. Apparently there's not a bad seat in the house, however, given that it's stadium seating.
  • Patrick seconds the Faye-Dunaway-channelling interpretation:

    Liev Schrieber is commanding and engrossing as Macbeth in this first production this season of Shakespeare In The Park. Jennifer Ehle, whose voice and delivery reminded me more than ocassionally of Faye Dunaway, held my attention as Lady Macbeth even though she doesn't seem to have fully stamped the part yet. The production has been designed and costumed to suggest World War I, although that seems merely an aesthetic choice which doesn't impact the text at all. It is, at least, often visually striking. Moises Kaufman's direction is strong for the most part, with some clever use of the park setting among its merits, but he frustratingly flubs the big scene in the first act. Still, there's more than enough to recommend this production.
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