Sunday, October 28, 2018

MACBETH: COME LIKE SHADOWS • Rebel And Misfits Productions

Rebel And Misfits transports audiences to the middle of a pulsing, modernized interpretation of Macbeth in the third installment of its Immersive Theatre Project, where a roughly 10 minute bus ride lands you at Inverness -- a historic, red brick Gothic chancel of graffiti, brick piles and half pipes. Shakespeare’s 17th century tragedy is well known -- a prophesy delivered to Generals Macbeth and Banquo by three witches sets Macbeth and his wife on a murderous pursuit of the crown. This production is a magical but dystopian one, that bends toward the political themes in the play and emphasizes the destructive trappings of power, while filling out a backstory on the players, giving you different perspectives on familiar characters. Its immersive component places you within the performance itself, meaning you’ll be on your feet wandering amongst the cast, where you may have a warning whispered in your ear, a note placed in your hand, or find yourself with a seat at the royal table.

Macbeth (Sean Patrick Higgins)
and Lady Macbeth (Kelly Hummert).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
You can grab a quick drink after you arrive at your destination, but remember that it is a time of civil war. Soldiers walk around with daggers along with service rifles and tactical vests, and entry to the Macbeth’s castle comes only after a quick process authorizes your status as a citizen. Once welcomed inside by sound designer Adam Frick-Verdine’s thumping soundtrack, you’ll have time to roam around an expansive chamber and admire striking murals of our hosts (courtesy of Tiélere Cheatem), eavesdrop on snatches of conversation between friends, or witness arguments that break out between antagonists. 

Witches (Alison Linderer, Cynthia Pohlson
and Tiélere Cheatem).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
Before long, the witches (Alison Linderer, Cynthia Pohlson and Tiélere Cheatem) set the plot in motion planning their meetup with Macbeth (a dynamic Sean Patrick Higgins). Aisles are gently created amidst the onlookers through which the actors bolt from place to place, and the fog that hangs in the air, flushed with gorgeous lights by Jon Ontiveros, makes for some arresting tableaus throughout, whether it’s the witches spinning about like the queen of sorcery herself was chanting in their ears, or the Macbeths being swept up in the immediate gratification of fame after they’re coronated king and queen. A cursory familiarity with Macbeth will be helpful, as the tall echoey ceilings swallow up much of the dialogue, despite the cohesion of a strong group of actors.

The cast of Macbeth: Come Like Shadows.
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
Kelly Hummert’s Lady Macbeth is sorrowful in her inability to give her husband a son, but intense with ambition, while Higgins' Macbeth shows an almost immediate regret after they spill their first blood, and the intimacy they share is sweltering. These two also co-direct the production. Spencer Sickmann is a marvelous Macduff, imparting a palpable grief after he learns the fate of his family, and Shane Signorino’s Banquo grins ominously when his ghost appears to haunt Macbeth at a royal banquet. Aarya Sara Locker and Phil Leveling are commanding addressing the crowd as Scottish Thanes Lennox and Caithness, and Jeff Cummings is a stern King Duncan whose ghost oversees the action from the top of one of the half pipes after he meets his end. Paul Cereghino engages thoughtfully as the slain King Duncan's oldest son, Malcolm, and the supporting cast members remain as absorbed in the action as we do. 

Ross (Reginald Pierre) and Macduff (Spencer Sickmann).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
If you’ve seen Macbeth before, Macbeth: Come Like Shadows presents an opportunity to experience it like you never have before. Go see it.

• The show does include a violence, gunshots, strobe lighting and fog warning. Perfect for Halloween.

• Wear comfortable shoes, dress to stay warm, and take the plunge!

Doctor (Phil Leveling) and Lady Macbeth (Kelly Hummert).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey

Written by William Shakespeare, adapted by Kelly Hummert and Sean Patrick Higgins
Directed by Sean Patrick Higgins and Kelly Hummert
First destination, 1615 South Broadway (the parking lot for DB’s and Jimmy Johns)
through November 10 | tickets: $35 - $45
Performances Wednesdays through Saturdays *arrive no later than 7:20pm to board the bus at 7:30pm

Lucas (Tiélere Cheatem), Young Soldier (Kevin Corpuz)
and Malcolm (Paul Cereghino).
Photo credit: Eric Woolsey
Angus: Jeremey Branson
Malcolm: Paul Cereghino
Witch/Lucas: Tiélere Cheatem
Fleance/Young Soldier: Kevin Corpuz
Duncan: Jeff Cummings
Bianca: Patrice Foster
Macbeth: Sean Patrick Higgins
Lady Macbeth: Kelly Hummert
Caithness, Doctor: Phil Leveling
Witch: Alison Linderer
Lennox: Aarya Sara Locker
Lady Macduff: Hailey Medrano
Ross: Reginald Pierre
Witch, Understudy for Lady Macbeth: Cynthia Pohlson
Macduff: Spencer Sickmann
Banquo: Shane Signorino
Head of Security: Jordan Woods

Assistant Director and Choreographer: Jordan Woods
Stage Manager: Megan Cahill
Lighting: Jon Ontiveros
Set: Joe Novak
Sound: Adam Frick-Verdine
Costumes: Eileen Engel

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