Macbeth Starts tonight

dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/25/13 at 02:58pm
Curious to see if anyone is going? I noticed they quietly cancelled last night's show. I will be there and am very excited!

Especially excited to see Ethan Hawke onstage, especially after seeing the masterpiece that was Before Midnight this summer.
The Glenbuck Laird
Understudy
joined:8/25/13
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/25/13 at 05:09pm
You'll fall in love with Anne-Marie Duff. She is special
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/26/13 at 12:34am
Well it is a big BOLD vision that many may not like, but I LOVED it. This is Dark, Dark stuff, but Jack O Brien keeps things moving and provides quite the spectacle.

In the director's notes he writes that he tried to focus as much as possible on the visuals, and it shows. The circular portion of the stage is covered in a pentagram-esque diagram which is explained in the program.

An example: (SPOILER) s Macbeth goes off to murder Duncan there is a vase of of red flowers in the center of the stage. As the scene progressive the flowers start to fall from the vase and by the end they are all black. Its a stunning bit of stagecraft.

Anne-Marie Duff is a brilliant Lady Macbeth, and its easy to see why she is so well thought of. John Glover is also giving a surprising and strong performance.

Much will be said of the witches in this production (MALCOM GETS!) but i thought they were used very effectively.

Ethan Hawke is giving a solid performance, but needs to work on his diction. I missed a lot of what he said tonight. Brian Darcy James is fine, but its a rather thankless role.

I won't go into too much detail, but this is one of my favorite offerings of Shakespeare this fall.

Side note: There were five people at the stage door, and everyone was very nice. Ethan signed and took pictures with anyone who asked. Anne-Marie Duff was lovely and came out with her husband James McAvoy!

I will be curious to see what others think of this.
PattyO'Furniture
Stand-by
joined:8/12/04
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/26/13 at 11:12am
Thank you for the review. Any other information much appreciated!
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/26/13 at 11:47am
Not to be that guy but I'm seeing it tonight and have plans after. Can you tell me what the running time is?
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
vegas2
Stand-by
joined:12/5/09
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/26/13 at 03:00pm
Any seating advice? Would it be better to sit up close to see faces, or would the staging come across better with a bit of distance? We are short folks, so we usually try to sit close, unless there's a good reason to go further back. Thanks in advance.
dave1606
Broadway Star
joined:12/8/07
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/26/13 at 05:32pm
The show got out at 10:50pm last night and started probably around 8:05 or so.

I would sit close as you can as in the lodge I had trouble hearing up there. Just make sure you sit as center as you can so you can see the staging, some of which I missed fro the far side lodge last night.
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/26/13 at 10:06pm
I give Hawke two weeks before his voice skids out.
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/27/13 at 12:14pm
After seeing this production of MACBETH I will say it was far superior to Alan Cummings' one man show which I found to be terribly boring and confusing. This is a full production that is beautiful to look at…but that's about where it ends.

I'll start with the visuals which will be what everyone else speaks of when they remember this show. By bringing the witches more to the forefront you really get the dark feeling of the show. The sets are very sparse (like every other Shakespeare I've seen thus far) but here it actually works for me. You have a sense of where the characters are rather than just having a fresco that moves around or chairs that serve no purpose. This is a great theatre for the staging because you feel very close to the action which is important to draw you more into the story. It's been said by dave1606 but the rose trick is pretty magical.

As far as the performances go I was underwhelmed by many which is to be expected with such a massive cast. The standouts for me were Anne-Marie Duff who I was instantly draw to in all of her scenes, Malcolm Gets and John Glover. I've been a huge fan of Malcolm Gets since Caroline in the City and having him seen him in several shows I would have to say he's one of my favorite actors. John Glover has always been on my radar but never thought he was anything special until seeing him as one of the Witches. Ethan Hawke is serviceable as Macbeth but I had pretty low expectations going in.

The performance I could not stand was Jonny Orsini. After having seen him in THE NANCE and enjoying his performance greatly I was rather disappointed here. Maybe he's just not a good actor or maybe Shakespeare just isn't for him but he was not doing it for me. I also didn't care for Daniel Sunjata who I thought was overacting quite a bit.

I won't say this is a bad production because it's not. I just found it to drag quite a bit and think some cuts can be made to tighten it up a bit.
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 10/31/13 at 10:22am
Shame on Clyde and dave for not relaying the most important piece of information about this production: Julia Houston's ex-husband AND ex-dramaturg, who she or may not have been boinking, share the stage for the first time since the fallout of their relationships! If only Carpet had been cast as Malcolm my evening would have been complete.

On a (slightly) more serious note, this Macbeth felt like the story was being told through the prism of "Supernatural," and I do mean that in a good way. The witches and their hell-creatures, who look like Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer in a leather bar, have been inserted throughout the production. More than ever you feel the hand of fate strangling Macbeth. He had no choice in his actions as the witches propelled him toward his doom. Gets, Glover and Jennings made for a twisted and fun group of witches; their scene at the top of act two was a highlight of the evening.

The stage looks black as pitch, and the characters could be plunged into the pit of hell at any moment. The lighting was excellent.

Ethan Hawke is mostly there, but is still finding his footing with a few of his line deliveries. I'm a big fan of his in general and think he'll settle into the role. Catherine Zuber did a good job costuming him, especially at the banquet scene; loved those pants, the cape and the crown!

Anne-Marie Duff is very good; she nails the sleepwalking scene, which is wonderfully staged and lit.

I have to agree with Clyde about Johnny Orsini. He was the weak link in the cast.

The whole sequence with the woods and then the finale battles scenes were well-executed.

Act two was stronger on the whole than act one. The excitement and tension get a tad slack from time to time, but that will be resolved during previews. Overall I liked it, but didn't love it.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
pennydreadful
Stand-by
joined:3/27/11
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/1/13 at 02:39pm
I saw this last night - fitting for Halloween! Gorgeous to look at, but Orsini was painful to watch. I literally had to close my eyes and discreetly stop up one ear when he started talking, that's how embarrassed I was for him. I was up in the loge (great views from up there) and fellow audience members were openly shaking their heads. Hawke was lackluster at best. God bless the witches, Hecate, and the hellcats. They got the biggest applause of the evening.
W.A.Wilson
Swing
joined:10/29/13
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/2/13 at 03:56pm
I saw Macbeth on Halloween as well. Overall, I enjoyed the production though it has flaws. The set is very minimal as others have pointed out, but it's extremely well lit and beautifully done. The acting of the witches (who become other characters to show how they are influencing events), and McDuff is amazing, the best I've seen. As Lady Macbeth, Anne-Marie Duff is solid, quite good in the sleepwalking scene, and much of the scenes with Macbeth, but like Hawke she suffers in the soliloquies. Both of them seem to be unable to internalize the dramatic 'spark' that should ignite the outpouring of the soliloquies. Hawke clearly understands the text at a deep level but I do not agree with many of his choices. He plays Macbeth as a man full of bluster, sound and fury, and outburst of violence. He spends much of the 2nd half of the play yelling his lines which becomes tedious. Clearly O'Brien is going for the madness angle, he has Macbeth 'seeing' more things than are in the text, but I'm not sure the text fully supports this. Instead of the more traditional arc of Macbeth descending into nihilism and being unable to 'feel' anything that's happening, Hawke seems to feel more as the play goes on. To me, Macbeth is a sort of warrior poet, a man who is very much in touch with his mind, the tragedy being that he hears the very loud voice of his conscious screaming at him to stop yet he ignores it and plunges on. Hawke skips way too fast through the dialogue that reveals Macbeth's deep seated guilt and goes for a much more frantic approach. Interesting, but I can't say it was great.

I still enjoyed it though because the production values and epic scope of it are well done. It is quite a punch in the gut and if you like Shakespeare you need to check it out. Hopefully Hawke will slow down the pacing, find some inspiration for his soliloquies, and stop yelling so much.

On a final random note, the 'tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow' soliloquy is delivered well but it sticks out so much in his characterization because it's the only time in the 2nd act he seems to display the nihilism and deep reflection that I normally associate with the character. It's as if, because that speech is so famous, they had to do it the 'traditional' way even though he goes right back to yelling after it. The character's trajectory should drive to the realizations in that speech, hopefully Hawke will figure that out.
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/2/13 at 11:39pm
I thought he was beyond terrible in The Nance, but no one else seemed to think so. I'm kind of excited to see this now knowing he's kind of terrible, and it sounds kind of expansive and interesting. Just not sure I can see Midsummer and then Macbeth? Too much Shakespeare for two days?
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/3/13 at 01:55am
Saw the show tonight and was really disappointed. A MACBETH without a strong actor in the title role is no show at all. Ethan Hawke places his voice in his head and throat--instead of his chest, where it belongs--and doesn't lose his American accent. As he screams quite a bit, he'd become quite hoarse by the banquet scene--and he had the whole second half to get through. If this continues, I can see him withdrawing from the production for health reasons.

Don't get me started on Jonny Orsini. His performance is so wooden I kept thinking of Judy Carne's "Robot Theater" on the old LAUGH-IN. I cringed every time he walked on stage.

Is this cast the best that Lincoln Center could come up with?
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/14/13 at 08:37pm
No one has seen it since early November? I'm going soon!
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
inception
Understudy
joined:11/2/13
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/15/13 at 06:17am
I saw this Wednesday & it still same as early reviews on here, I bought before reading them. Coming from a city with a great summer Shakespeare theatre, I've seen the whole Shakespeare in leather thing done to death and this wasn't any better just cause it had big names in NY. It was OK.

I bought in the cheap row up top which were the only rows sold out & everyone moved down to better seats as the lights went down. After intermission half the people in the orchestra had gone home.
...
BudFrump23
Broadway Star
joined:5/20/03
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/20/13 at 10:19am
I saw Shakespeare's Macbeth (as opposed to Neil Simon's) last night, and I must say I agree with most of the reviews here. The standouts for me, as with many others here, were the witches and Anne-Marie Duff. I've been a small fan of hers since seeing The Magdalene Sisters almost a decade ago, and her Lady Macbeth kept me rapt and attentive throughout the performance. During the intermission, I was saddened as I remembered that she only had one scene in the second half. She made the language flow so naturally, and I believed every word she was saying. (And wow - that dress in the first scene!)

And then - the not-so-good. I must have the worst luck when seeing shows at Lincoln Center and seeing forehead-slapping bad actors. First there was the replacement Lt. Cable in South Pacific, played by a lovely-voiced yet terribly-wooden Andrew Samonsky. Then there was the back-end of the War Horse, which was entirely not believable. (Just kidding.) And then - we have Mr. Orsini as Malcolm. No disrespect, but I felt as though I had been transported to a So Cal high school performance. His reaction to his father Duncan's death elicited guffaws from around me.

But the visuals were stunning at times, and I loved the eerie ending with the hooded figures. Quite moving. I'm interested to read the reviews on this one.
I'm as jumpy as a virgin at a prison rodeo!
TheatreFreak05
Broadway Legend
joined:1/22/08
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/20/13 at 11:37am
I also agree that the production is STUNNING. Wonderful scenic and brilliant lighting design. They really take advantage of the scope of the Vivian Beaumont. Anne-Marie Duff and the witches were great. Overall, I enjoyed the production if only because of how epic it felt. There was a very film-like quality to it. Some solid performances.
The Glenbuck Laird
Understudy
joined:8/25/13
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/20/13 at 05:47pm
I have just returned to the UK after visiting New York for a long weekend. Anne-Marie Duff’s Broadway debut was enough for me to make my first hop across the pond and visit the states. I think I have made four posts on this board now and three have been to sing the praises of Ms Duff. As Ms Duffs number 1 cheerleader, it will come as no surprise then for me to say I loved her Lady Macbeth. If you haven’t booked tickets yet it is worth it for this performance alone. How good was Duff in the sleep walking scene? Yeah, she nailed it.

I hope I am not giving any spoilers here. We all know the play, no?

A solid Macbeth this with some really good performances. I was surprised how good Ethan Hawke’s performance was. Ethan Hawke must have been reading the earlier posts on this board, Hawke no longer shouts the second half. Like a good stage hand prompt that WA Wilson.

I had one or two problems with this play. In the ‘we will proceed no further in this business’ scene Macbeth drags Lady Macbeth across the stage. Not for me this. Lady Macbeth is in control of this scene. Lady Macbeth convinces a doubting Macbeth to carry through their plan to kill the King and she is the strength. Not having Macbeth dragging Lady Macbeth in this scene.

In the ‘oh horror, horror, horror’ scene MacDuff has just witnessed his King’s brutally murdered body. I wanted to see a little more, well… horror in the performance of MacDuff. A bit tame this scene.

And lastly I am going against the grain here but I really disliked the witches. I thought I would love the interpretation of the witches being integral in every scene, watching over and influencing proceedings before them, but it did not work for me.

I was trying think of when I first had a downer against the witches as it was an excellent opening ‘when shall we three meet again’ scene. But turning ‘knock, knock’ into pantomime!! Do you have pantomime in America? Perhaps you need UK end of the pier style pantomime to be exported from the UK. Then perhaps one of the greatest tragedies written won’t be ruined. I can feel the steam rising again, I thought I had mellowed on the long flight back to London. 'Double, double toil and trouble' was good and the hooded ending sensational. But Pantomime!!? Yes it probably was just this scene.

What an impressive theatre space the Vivian Beaumont is. It reminded me of the Olivier stage at the National Theatre in London. The cast excellently used the vast space of the theatre and the lighting was very well executed. How good was the stage set and lighting during the sleep walk scene, the murder and feast arrival and then the Banquo ghost scene? And I loved the seal that forms the artwork for the production and very impressively, also the stage.

So overall a very good Macbeth production, well worth my trip to New York. And thank you to everybody who looked after us so well at the Lincoln Centre. New York really is an impressive city. I have a feeling it will not be my last trip to New York.
kidbroadway2
Leading Actor
joined:3/26/10
Macbeth Starts tonight
Posted: 11/22/13 at 12:44am
Wow, That NYT Review was NOT good