"Macbeth" evening performance, 4/12 (many spoilers)

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karen24
Broadway Star
joined:2/27/06
Broadway Star
joined:
2/27/06
Saw "Macbeth" on Saturday night with my son, who is almost 16 and is reading this in school right now. It was a good thing he was with me, since he could give me a quick refresher on the different characters before it started and during intermission--I had forgotten a few things!

First, the audience was pretty awful, IMO. Tons and tons of coughing, and despite all the pre-show warnings, someone's cell phone went off *twice* just behind me during the first act. Really annoying. Then the kid behind me was eating a box of Raisinets or Goobers and was also leaning forward, so I heard the stupid box rattling in my ear for about half an hour before I finally turned around and asked him to stop. (He looked completely mystified--"stop what?!" Argh.) Then some older person a few seats away from him fell asleep and began breathing very loudly.

Anyway, I found the play itself very interesting. I'm still mulling over some aspects of it. I'm not sure how much I cared for the setting-it-in-a-totalitarian-state concept. It seemed a little odd to me to have them constantly referring to Scotland while they were obviously all in Russia. And I really didn't like the use of machine guns in the battle scenes. However, I did think that they executed the concept very well, whatever I personally thought of it. The set was impressively cold and morgue-like and the projections and films and sound effects were, well, effective. I liked the use of the industrial elevator, for the most part, although I did think the constant opening and closing of the door got tiresome after a while.

Performances: Kate Fleetwood was excellent. Her sleepwalking scene was very powerful and mesmerizing (the audience finally stopped coughing at that point.) I was also very impressed with the actors playing Macduff and Banquo (sorry, I don't have my program handy.)I also liked the actress playing Lady Macduff; her scene in the castle with her children just before they are all murdered was very strong.
Patrick Stewart was good. Somehow I didn't quite believe him in the later scenes, when he started killing people right and left. I wanted him to be a bit more cold and ruthless at that point. The making-the-sandwich scene (when he's ordering the henchmen to kill Banquo) wasn't quite as chilling for me as I'd read it would be. But maybe that's just me.
Maggie-the-schnoodle