THE COMEDIC TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
Something wicked this way comes.
Macbeth is a supernatural tragedy. The eeriness of the castle where murders take place, the Weird Sisters (witches) who seduce Macbeth with promises of riches and the disregard for human life is a perfect recipe for a dark story. The stage is set on the grounds of a park. Due to the craziness the story provides from beginning to end, the play is set inside a loony bin. The lunatics running this particular asylum are Macbeth (Lamont Hendrix) and his treacherous wife Lady Macbeth (Lauren Henning), the Weird Sisters (Madeline Goshorn, Caitlin Stoodley and Marcos J. Ruiz) and Banquo and Macduff (played both by Noah Laufer). It’s not a dark and stormy night, but, it was a warm and windy night filled with strange noises and crazy people running around trying to get away from whatever demon is actually following them. This adaption is picture-perfect for the upcoming Halloween evening. The show is very humorous but doesn’t lose its tragic edge. Director Rebecca Lynne from Dean Productions chose the best Shakespeareian tragedy and provide it with a comical approach. The witches definitely bring on the hilarious touch.
Each provides their individual funny bit which, makes their character bigger and memorable. For example, Ruiz must be on some type of medication that made him lose his mind. He howls, crouches and screams as if he was being murdered and at the same time, quickly morphs into a misunderstood, tender creature. His counterparts take a page from his playbook and become more fierce in scaring everyone to death. One hysterical moment is when the patients line up to take their medications. They are lined up in a zombie like fashion, take their pills and drink their water and continue on. They are not really taking their medication but must appease the staff. As Macbeth takes his pills, he relives the night he killed Banquo. Then, it gets real. He tries to keep the white plastic cone on his head from falling. That could be a sign that as the story unfolds, more things will seem crooked and unable to fix.
Because the “stage” is open, the players are more accessible to the audience. A few times, the witches would help themselves to the candy shared by the audience. Or, tug on their blankets while conversing. It’s really a brilliant idea to interact with the audience, especially when it’s children. Sometimes the kids would provide sound effects such as bells ringing that go in quick succession Ding!Ding!Ding! The family friendly production makes it fun for the kids to participate. The patients bring their own type of crazy. Macduff wears a bedsheet like a cape while carrying a teddy bear. The patients use anything: silverware, a plunger and scrub brushes as weapons to fling it to one another. It’s hard not to laugh at the absurdity of this terrific version. Lynne does an exceptional job in not only turning a tragedy into an amusing show but for maintaining the tragedy malleable enough so you don’t feel bad for laughing so hard.
Hendrix kills it as the fragile general who later would be king. He goes from being a courageous and faithful leader into a corrupted, superstitious patient at the hospital. Again, Ruiz was great as one of the witches. He really played it crazy as hell in a believable way. Much regard and mad love to Lynne for doing a fabulous job in bringing a fresh slant to a timeless classic. Wonderful makeover. Though admission is free, reservations are required. Dig in your pockets to give a donation at the end of the evening. Donations are highly needed in order for wonderful shows, like this one, to continue.
The Comedic Tragedy of Macbeth plays until Saturday, October 21st at Brand Park, located at 1601 W. Mountain Avenue, in Glendale. Performances are Friday, October 13th and 20th, Saturday, October 14th and 21st at 7:30. Show up 15 minutes early for a pre-show entertainment. Log on to www.deanproductionstheatre.com.