We were in row P in the center. The theatre is not that big plus it's stadium seating so the sight lines on any of the seats are good. It was a warm good night but there was a breeze so that it was so great to be outdoors watching a great Shakespeare play with great actors! The play started a little later than 8:30 because they were waiting for it to be darker to get more of an ambiance i guess.
As the audience comes in, Dunkan the king is sitting in the middle of the stage (in character). There were wounded soldiers laying on the floor and some hanging on the scaffoldings on the stage. I tried discretely to take a pic of the stage before the play started and was caught by an usher ooops!I must say, the staging of the play was really amazing. How the stage moved and changed scenes particularly the scene when Macbeth was being confronted by Malcolm and MacDuff was really well staged.
But enough of that how did the actors do? Well Liev Shrieber was really wonderful as Macbeth. He had such strong stage presence and was just fit for the role. As for JE.......well what can I say? But, what perfect comedic timing! I know I know I too have read the posts particularly the message boards in broadwayworld.com. Well, who knew that? I was prepared to watch this heavy play which is my favorite but it was a refreshing surprise that the play could be done that way with some comedy bits. It was wonderful to witness JE with how she would take certain pauses to say her lines could get laughs from the audience and yet it still works! During intermission 2 ladies discussing the "comedy" aspect of it. One said she did not like it Lady Macbeth should have been more dark but her friend said....wait just listen again and watch her because she is getting the audience's laughs and it works! I think she just goes from 1 extreme to another like a bi-polar personality....even with the energy with how she moves. ----> see that was how I saw her part too. I just couldn't put a finger on it. the best scene for me was her nightmare scene of Out Damed Spot......it was so powerful! It was also nice to see in 1 scene (I think it was during her scene with Macbeth before he was suppose to see the 3 witches) when her face changes from a warm smile to a cold steel heartless lady.....amazing! I guess this is where people in broadway world were saying that she is trying to channel Meryl Streep (she was that way in the Manchurian candidate).....well don't mind them. Those who can't do criticise. She was good! I think this comedic interpretation might be because of how she is directed to play the part. It is very refreshing though.
Well, my friends who were watching with me and have seen previous Shakespeare in the Park said that it was so nice seeing 2 actors on stage that are on equal level and having the same strong stage presence. Mind you they're not JE fans. One friend even said Lizzy is very good! They said it's one of the most satisfying theatre experiences.
As for the costumes....this one guy behind me said as JE did her entrance "She's hot!" Ha ha that got me to lose concentration on the play. Well there's this scene the coronation scene where she was wearing white gown......she just looked like Grace Kelly! Really Gorgeous!
Anyway, at the curtain call, when JE came out.....there was no standing ovation but I heard a lot of Woo-Hoo's. Liev didn't get a standing O either but as the whole ensemble took their final bows......about 3/4 of the audience gave a standing O. IT was a really wonderful production.
It took some time to get out of the theatre but we headed for the stage door afterward (which incidentally is in Gate 1for those of you who'll watch it in the future). We get to the stagedoor and waited for about 15 minutes. Liev comes out to talk to the friend but returns inside the theatre. With that the stagedoor lady said that the actors were rehearsing until 1 am that night but if we were waiting for Jennifer Ehle she's left already. I knew it! She's so fast getting out of the theatre! I saw her in the Philadelphia Story and she was one of the first out of the stagedoor back then! Anyway, it was still a wonderful night.......Central Park, the stars, Belvedere Castle in the background, Shakespeare but most of all Liev and Jennifer!!!!!
She's also sent some photos from around the theatre. Captions are hers.
On a separate note, it occurs to us that perhaps the lack of success by everyone who's tried to get autographs this week may be an indication of her discomfort with the stage-dooring thing. If so, we revoke our request for stage door photos and stories, though we continue to welcome your opinions and reports on the performance. Of course you can continue to try your luck; this is not an official warning from the powers that be or anything. We just want to reiterate that her privacy is paramount, and err on the side of caution.