Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Macbeth roundup

Are you comfortable? First, this report from Not Liz.

Last week held one truly magnificent piece of New York-ishness: that is, seeing Macbeth, starring Liev Schreiber and Jennifer Ehle, for free in Central Park. Two lovely ladies I know took the day off work and waited in the line from 6 am till the ticket booth opened at 1 pm, and thanks to them, the three of us sat fifth row center, sipping cheap French wine from paper coffee cups, as the performance unfolded later that night.

The performance was excellent, and I loved the venue. It reminded me of American Players Theater in Spring Green, WI, where my parents took me and my brother to see crass quantities of Shakespeare while we were growing up. This particular performance also illustrated one of my favorite aspects of outdoor theater -- the ways that the weather can impact the atmosphere of the performance. As Macbeth was railing about killing his umpteenth perceived human obstacle to greatness, the wind picked up and it started raining in large, sparse drops. Very dramatic.

She also has a photo of Mr Schreiber in shorts...!

Anu enjoyed the show as well:

Chatting, snacking, watching people walk their dogs, observing kids playing, seeing joggers pass by and enjoying the beautiful day with its cool breeze, I spent Saturday morning with a group of friends in-line for tickets for the Public Threater's presentation of Shakespeare in the Park play Macbeth.

Macbeth is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays (my absolute all time favorite is 'Hamlet') and I was really looking forward to the performance. The play was staged in the open-air Delacorte Theater, starting at 8:30 pm. And it was absolutely amazing! Liev Shreiber's performance as Macbeth and Jennifer Ehle's role as Lady Macbeth were par-excellence! Watching the play in an open air theater with a gentle breeze and the night stage lit up with lights was a pleasant and enjoyable experience. One of my favorite parts of the play is the soliloquy of Macbeth, in which after hearing the news of the death of his wife, the Queen, he reflects upon life:

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day"

Click through to see the rest of the speech and some photos of Central Park.

Next, from Julie:

Saturday was camping out for Shakespeare in the Park tickets, then a nap, then a thoroughly delightful rendition of Macbeth in Central Park at sunset. It was seriously amazing. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to follow the dialog or the plot, since it's been a long time (5 or 6 years) since I have read it. Liev Schreiber was Macbeth and he was HOT, even while on a murdering spree. It was so much fun to be in an audience who all stood in line 4 hours on a Saturday to see Shakespeare and who laughed and gasped at the appropriate moments. Chris and I are thinking about going back after reading up on the nuances of Macbeth, so maybe we'd understand more. But it was fabulous and everything I always imagined Shakespeare in the Park would be.

And finally, Kerry's detailed account of the wait and the show. It's quite long so click through to read it. She also sent in a video from the queue and photos around the park, which will be uploaded later.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting all these reviews. I enjoy reading them.

Anu said...

Hi Jennifer, Thanks for linking to my blog post! I thoroughly enjoyed the play...and you were absolutely brilliant as Lady Macbeth! I specially liked the soliloquy where Lady Macbeth asks the spirits to make her blood thick and "Stop up the access and passage to remorse". Also thought the scene where Lady Macbeth is walking in her sleep and constantly rubbing her hands to get the blood off was beautifully portrayed. An excellent performance indeed!

Jennite said...

Sorry Anu (and anyone else confused) - this blog is not written by JE herself and it's not possible to communicate with her through it. See our FAQ if you want fanmail addresses. Chelsea and I are just fans.

Thanks for commenting though.