Friday, June 06, 2014

Macbeth (My Review + Our seats)

So My Review of Macbeth is here (LINK).  Short answer, it was amazing.
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Also, this picture was in a review by someone else.  My and Ed's seats were right in the front row..  Seriously. First row, seats A1 and A2; I could, quite literally, touch Kenneth Branagh.  I think more than one person did touch Ed, as they raced around the corner to enter the stage / field.
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And yes, we got rain on us in the opening.
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We sat right in the front corner.  Behind the King's Head (with the crown).  That is River Song (Alex Kingston) in the rear.
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My Review starts...
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Macbeth Scores as Spectacle and Passion

Kenneth Branagh’s New York Theater debut has been a long time coming.  Anticipation and expectations can often drown a good performance.  But instead of downplaying expectations, Macbeth, now at the Park Avenue Armory, ramps them up wildly.
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(Note: I hid this in the official review as a spoiler)....
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Upon entering the Armory, long before entering the Theater proper, the viewer is classified into a Scottish Clan, given a program and placed with members of your Clan.  The program has the expected cast list and details, but also includes a map of the Clan and the trajectory of your Thane in the proceedings.  It is designed to build anticipation for the show as your Clan is announced into the Drill Hall.
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And upon entering the Hall, your expectations are built even higher.  From the entrance you walk on a stone path, through the moors towards a Stonehenge-like monolith that anchors one end of the stage.  The seating is arranged  steeply on both sides of a long, muddy pit where the play takes place.  Opposite the monoliths, a stone grotto calls to mind an ancient chapel or stone castles’ keep. Candles flicker as a woman bids her time with her back to the audience.  The lengthy pit reminds one of a jousting field more than anything else.
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All of this is designed to overwhelm the viewer, to set your emotional clock to back to the age of chivalry and make you ready to inhabit the world of Macbeth.
And the play opens with a wild battle, played out with steel on steel, shouts, blood and combat on this narrow field, now drenched in rain.
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And then the show starts.  It’s a lot of live up to.

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