MACBETH: COME LIKE SHADOWS Is a Wild, Wonderful Immersion

MACBETH: COME LIKE SHADOWS Is a Wild, Wonderful Immersion

You only have two more chances to see Rebel and Misfits' Macbeth: Come Like Shadows, directed by Sean Patrick Higgins and Kelly Hummert, and even in a city of generous theatre offerings, you will probably not have the opportunity to see anything else quite like this. Not anytime soon anyway. Cancel your weekend plans and click over now to buy your tickets. Seriously. I'll wait.

Okay. Now, let's talk about the incredible extravagance of this performance we both almost missed.

MACBETH: COME LIKE SHADOWS Is a Wild, Wonderful ImmersionThe third installment in Rebel and Misfits' immersive theatre project, Macbeth: Come Like Shadows, is an exquisite theatrical experience. What does immersive mean exactly? It means you, as an audience member, are in the dead center of the action, as active a participant as you are willing to be. Don't be nervous, though. You are not going to have to recite Shakespeare or display your own acting skills. You won't even have to participate if you prefer to not. There are, for those who wish to use them, chairs at the periphery of the playing spaces, however, you'll get the most out of this performance if you can stand comfortably for a couple hours, moving from space to space. If you do choose full participation, you might be invited to sit as a guest at the feast, drink with the royal family, or show off your dance moves at Macbeth's coronation ball.

Your principal part as an audience member though, is to play the part of a wartime refugee. You will board a bus at a prearranged location and be transported to the Scottish castle Inverness, the home of the affluent and powerful Macbeths (Sean Patrick Higgins and Kelly Hummert). Once you arrive, you will be processed - a procedure that includes wrist stamping, photo documentation, and pertinent information about expectations - before you stop by the underground cash bar and then climb a short flight of steps to be welcomed into the grand castle by your gracious hostess, Lady Macbeth. (The bar is where the restrooms are. Use them now.)

MACBETH: COME LIKE SHADOWS Is a Wild, Wonderful ImmersionOnce you enter Inverness, which is actually the former sanctuary of a ruined Catholic church in a previously undisclosed location, you will find fantastic, paint-peeled cathedral columns and lofty, boarded-up walls covered in colorful murals. There is something magnificent about the juxtaposition of those with the irreverent graffiti you'll also find all over this holy space. There are several playing areas in this sanctuary -the Macbeths' sumptuously lit, red-satin sheeted bed; a smaller, crumbled-red-brick stage that suggests imminent dystopia; and the curled walls of what has become an indoor skate park inside the timeworn sanctuary. You may wander freely in the opening minutes as you feel inspired, eavesdropping on improvised conversations among the various characters. There are warnings to be heeded, secrets to be overheard, and though the pre-play play is a bit long and the tiniest bit scant, this is when you are brought into the story as an active partner in the action. Depending on which course of action you choose to follow you may learn secrets about the kingdom and its characters that you'll have to evaluate and consider. Secrets you may not have considered before, even if you are an ardent fan of The Bard. Throughout this adaptation, we keep true to Shakespeare's original script with some subtle additions which make it fresh and politically current. You don't have to be a literary or theatre scholar to enjoy this fine adaptation of The Scottish Play, but it would be helpful to skim the SparkNotes if you haven't read Macbeth since high school. Unfortunately, the cavernous nature of the sanctuary causes many, if not most, of the lines be bounced off the walls and lost on the return, so at least a casual familiarity with the plot is most helpful. The best lines are those delivered right in the midst of the audience. So, scoot in close and embrace the fact that you are an integral part of the action. Also, so you can hear.

MACBETH: COME LIKE SHADOWS Is a Wild, Wonderful ImmersionAside from the acoustics, the tech for this show is nothing short of amazing with entire columns of the cathedral bathed in exquisite jewel-toned light. The use of strobe lighting and fog machines make for exciting and intense scenes. Eileen Engel's costumes are tremendous, featuring everything from modern body armor to cashmere berets and flowing scarves to classic gowns in sultry blacks and reds. The entire production is a visual buffet of wonder, including picturesque dancing and severely powerful stage combat. The thumping music, which sometimes overplays the dialogue, is edgy and sexy, lending a contemporary feel and serving to modernize and make relevant the politics and attitudes of the day.

MACBETH: COME LIKE SHADOWS Is a Wild, Wonderful ImmersionEvery member of the cast is a star, and every scene is performed with passion and intensity. They have clearly worked very hard to present this challenging play, and the interaction among characters is intimate and dynamic. Aside from the thoroughly bewitching chemistry between Hummert and Higgins, loud shout-outs for outstanding performances go to Spencer Sickmann as Macduff, Hailey Medrano as Lady Macduff, Shane Signorino as Banquo, Jeff Cummings as Duncan, and Patrice Foster as Bianca.

Do dress warmly, as the temperature inside the cathedral is chilly, but rest assured, you'll be pleased with your decision to indulge in this rare opportunity to become a part of Macbeth as you never have before.

Macbeth: Come Like Shadows plays through Saturday, November 10. Begin the journey here.

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From This Author Tanya Seale

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