Theatre Review

Magnificent 'Macbeth' at Trinity


Trinity Rep has a proven track record with Shakespeare. This is the company’s third “Macbeth.” Their current production of the Bard’s “Scottish Play” is given a lively, raw, American production under the imaginative direction of Curt Columbus.

The tragic tale begins with the appearance of the three witches. Veterans Janice Duclos and Stephen Berenson are joined by Gamm veteran Jeanine Kane, and what an entertaining trio they are!

We first see Macbeth running hard on a treadmill, giving the impression of a strong, determined man. Mauro Hautman has captured the essence of Macbeth, a man who outwardly shows strength and determination, but inwardly wrestles with his guilt and fears. Hautman handles his soliloquies brilliantly, especially in the familiar “Tomorrow and Tomorrow…” and “Is this a dagger I see before me.”

Newcomer Julia Atwood is an even stronger Lady Macbeth, a woman who knows what she wants and knows who to manipulate her husband.

This is a tale of madness, treachery and murder. It is played out on a huge stage with catwalks overhead, giving sore necks to those in the first few rows.

Trinity veterans shine in the many supportive roles, with most handling more than one character. You won’t recognize Timothy Crowe with his bright red coat and white wig…until he speaks.

Stephen Thorne is a most convincing Banquo, murdered in the first act, only to return as a ghost in the eyes of the confused, mad Macbeth.

Alexander Platt, an accomplished local actor who has been seen occasionally at Trinity, is a strong presence as Macduff, capturing your attention in the final battle with Macbeth.

And just when you think the play is over, Columbus has a big, shocking surprise for you.

Michael McGarty has outdone himself with a huge, utilitarian stage. And what is that netting for over the stage? You’ll have to wait until the end to find out.

Andrew Jean’s costumes are a hodgepodge of garments, while Oona Curley’s lighting adds greatly to the atmosphere.

Birnam Wood does move to Dunsinane in a clever scene, and we learn of Macduff’s parentage, and it is all handled realistically. (I saw an amateur production once where actors moved small bushes across the stage. It was hilarious.)

Columbus has given us a taste of the many talents that combine to “put on a play” as only Trinity can. It is about two and a half hours, but moves rapidly from one scene to another.

“Macbeth” is at Trinity Rep through March 3, in the sprawling upstairs Chace Theatre. Call 351-4242 for reservations.


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