Shakespeare’s darkest trip of butchery and regret gets
haphazard treatment in this Northwest Classical Theatre Company
production, which successfully plays up the spookiness of Macbeth
but falls down in its tangled, seemingly tossed-together details.
Credit director Butch Flowers for his attempts to add some flair to an
oft-produced tragedy, but that doesn’t mean the mess of costumes—cargo
vests and combat boots one minute, newsboy caps or zip-up hoodies the
next—or the inexplicable appearance of a Star Wars comic adds any
depth. Still, the supernatural scenes prompt occasional goose bumps,
thanks to sinister makeup and lighting, and the close quarters of the
tiny Shoebox Theater make for some exhilarating fight scenes. As
Macbeth, Jason Maniccia wears his insecurity on his sleeve as his
ambitious wife urges him to kill the king and take the crown, fearfully
wringing his hands as he descends into paranoia. Melissa Whitney is an
intense Lady Macbeth, and she gives the audience chills when she calls
on the gods to fill her with hate. “Make thick my blood,” she says,
kneeling under a red spotlight and clenching her fists until they turn
white. But even Maniccia’s and Whitney’s sincere performances can’t make
up for the production’s lack of focus—including jazzy music that plays
between scenes—and other actors’ slipshod delivery of Shakespeare’s
language. What should be a delicious horror story becomes a confusing
parade of slaughters and screams.
SEE IT: Macbeth is at the Shoebox Theater, 2110 SE 10th Ave., 971-244-3740. 7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 pm Sundays through June 22. $20.