Add to that the fight and movement choreography of John Tovar and Dawn Arnold, respectively, and then toss in the impressive acting of Adam Schulmerich as Macbeth, Sarafina Vecchio as Lady Macbeth and the superb performances by Laurie Faith Gibson-Aiello, Dan Hogan, Tony Aiello, Luke Donia, Robert McConnell, Angela Bend and Caleb Donat , this version of Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy did a fine job at communicating the elements of the play such as the supernatural dimension, the struggle for power, and the paranoia, rage, greed and madness of it all.
You may be asking yourself right now, “Double, double, toil and trouble – How do I see this Macbeth?” Well, Janus Theatre’s Macbeth takes place at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division, 8th Floor, Elgin, IL. Have you been there? Great space…but when Rose and I walked in, we were a bit curious about the theatre set-up. It was not theatre in the round, but theatre in the parallelogram! This fine theatre space was truly transformed into the ultimate in intimate seating, so much so, that at times, you actually felt as if you were one with the play.
In one of the opening scenes, the Weird Sisters, somewhat sinister witch-like characters with their faces covered in a wickedly golden half mask with a jagged edge, delivered the prophecy to Macbeth that he would soon be King of Scotland. We could almost feel the hiss of the Sisters as they delivered their message to Macbeth, and then we wondered…How could this be? Will this happen? Does Macbeth rise to power and live happily ever after with Lady Macbeth? I say, see this adaptation for yourself. From the get-go, Rose and I were captivated by the story and were on the edge of our seats wondering what would happen next.
Let’s see - This play was written about 1604’ish – give or take a few years; however, Hargadon has transformed his version into a modern dress production with little help in the way of props or special effects to deliver the passion of the play. However, the direction and lighting were so spot-on and the acting so compelling, you are able to see in your mind’s eye, the moor, the kingdom and feel the emotions that were pouring out of the characters. It also has a run-time of 70 minutes, which is good for me – short attention span. But with this play, when it was over, I wanted more!
So…Two truths are told. One, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as delivered to you by Janus Theatre and director, Sean Hargadon is a ‘must-see trad-ge-dy’. Two, you can see Macbeth at the Elgin Art Showcase, tonight and tomorrow night (11/12-13, 2010) at 8pm and Sunday, (11/14/2010) at 7pm. Tickets are only $15 and can be reserved by calling the box office at 847-841-1713 and for more information, you can also visit janustheatre.wordpress.com. And incase you are interested in learning more about stage combat or Shakespeare’s language – Janus can deliver that, too. Check out the workshops available on their website or while you are reserving your Macbeth tix, you can reserve a spot in the workshops, too.