Macbeth has definitely got his eyes on the prize — and a few murders won’t stand in his way. Filled with sword fights, witches and ghosts, and tied-together with an original, post-apocalyptic interpretation, Lake Braddock’s production of “Macbeth” had the audience on the edge of their seats.
“Macbeth,” one of Shakespeare’s most renowned tragedies, tells the bloody tale of a man destroyed by his own ambition. The play was written in the early 1600s with the precise date unknown. Although there is little record of the play being performed during Shakespeare’s life, today the show is an undisputed classic.
As the cunning and manipulative Lady Macbeth, Noelle Viñas, carried the show with her obvious understanding of the show’s dialogue and her character's motives. She played the part perfectly, ranging from the calculating and murderous in the show’s beginning to positively deranged as her character meets her downfall in the final act. And though it seems almost unfair to compare any performance to Viñas’, Hisham El Mawan held his own as Macbeth in his character’s quest for power that intrigued the audience.
As Banquo, Jimmy Day was especially haunting as the silent specter Macbeth witnesses in his banquet hall and played the ill-fated friend of Macbeth well. With his spot-on emotion and facial expression, Michael Ross (Macduff) refused to be overshadowed. Indeed, the silhouette of Macduff against a blood-red backdrop, triumphantly clutching the head of Macbeth is not an image the audience is likely to forget.
Alex Kaplan provided some much-needed comic relief as the Porter, leaving the audience in stitches with every call of “Knock, knock!” perfectly complimented with a swig of wine and a drunken sway. Rachael Ulmer, Kimmi Johnston and Kate Bongiorno were nothing short of creepy as they crooned and cackled as the trio of Witches who prophesy Macbeth’s eventual rule as King and later his defeat by a man not “of woman born.” While the ensemble occasionally lacked energy and a clear focus, it was nothing the talented lead and supporting actors couldn’t make up for.
Alex Kaplan’s set perfectly fit the post-judgment day theme. Complete with chain-link fences, a stone arch and multiple levels for the actors to play on, it only served to enhance the performance. And while some sound, especially gunshot effects, seemed to lag, the sound was, for the most part, very good. Intense music heightened tension, especially during the famous duel between Macduff and Macbeth.
Overall, the cast of “Macbeth” delivered an enjoyable evening. With talented actors, an impressive set, and an original interpretation, Lake Braddock proved that the classics never go out of style.