Through August 20|
MACBETH Shakespeare in Delaware Park
By Augustine Warner
Vicious and lethal power struggles were a feature of Shakespeare’s time and our own.
“Macbeth” is one of the greatest stories of the quest for power, with its (literal) backstabbing, mass murder, witchcraft and the madness of guilt.
Shakespeare in the Park has the core of a very strong production of “The Scottish Play” on stage but it’s wounded by sound problems.
People with considerable electronic knowledge broke into the overnight storeroom during the run of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and stole the sound system, much of it new:
What’s being used now is a mix of borrowed and rented equipment and not all of it was talking to the rest of the electrons.
The night I saw the show, as the audience drifted away into Delaware Park wood afterwards, sound designer Tom Makar was visible working on the computer which controls the system, clearly hoping to improve it.
New equipment is expected to arrive before the run concludes.
What the show has is a generally strong cast with an unusual, for SIDP, set of some log fort with wooden doors filling in for battle scenes, castles, dining rooms and the great outdoors and the coven of witches.
Matt Witten dominates the show as Macbeth should, especially because his microphone seemed to work and Lisa Vitrano was almost as strong as the power-mad Lady Macbeth.
That’s one of Shakespeare’s great roles, male or female.
Costume designer Ken Shaw set the play in some undetermined time, a mix of kilts and Millennial haircuts
It’s a complicated show because there are so many characters, some of whom surface for a few lines and then vanish. Fleance? Donalbain?
Macbeth lived in the shadows of medieval Scotland, a country of constantly fighting nobles and, if the English weren’t invading, fighting each other.
Scotland never quite established a royal succession system and that’s why the nobles bypassed Duncan’s sons after his murder and made Macbeth king.
Duncan (David Marciniak) seems a nice guy, rewarding Macbeth for two battles, rewarding him with a great title.
But, Macbeth is succumbing to the promises of the three weird sisters (Cassidy Kreuzer, Amelia Scinta and Gretchen Martino), who promise him the throne although it won’t pass to his child.)
That’s for Banquo’s (Ray Boucher) descendants.
Macbeth kills and kills and kills, ultimately driving the survivors into exile and especially to England where the king is perfectly willing to send some troops to help Duncan’s son Malcolm (Nick Stevens) topple the usurper.
Macbeth can’t rely on any support because too many fear him and want him out.
He’s going crazy and Lady Macbeth is completely gone with guilt and the body count rises.
In the end, Macduff (Chris Hatch) kills Macbeth, as ancient prophecies turn into reality.
This is a very short Shakespeare and pretty linear, without the sidings of “Hamlet,” with the story moving swiftly.
Director Saul Elkin keeps the play rolling along, showing his long experience with the show.
Lighting designer Emma Schimminger works well with David Dwyer’s set.
Even with the sound problems, this is a memorable show because of Witten and Vitrano and because of the basic script of the perils of power and the liabilities of loyalty.
Elkin and assistant director and fight choreographer Steve Vaughan make it work quickly and efficiently.
If everyone is lucky, the sound system problems will be resolved before the end of the run and the crowd gets to see a very strong “Macbeth.”
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