Hobey Echlin/Metro Times/March, 1993
Though “Theatre of Cruelty” sounds more like a heavy metal record title than an aesthetic theorem, it’s the name Surrealist bad boy visionary Antonin Artaud chose to describe his experimental thespianism. The Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s production of Charles Marowitz’s A Macbeth would make Artaud proud. AACT’s production brings Shakespeare’s tale of horror and guilt to an altogether more visceral and cerebral level. Director George Popovich, the man responsible for Henry Ford Community College’s brilliant interpretation of the original Macbeth last year, also cracks the whip for Marowitz’s new adaptation of the play.
This year’s model features improvements over last year’s wildly successful HFCC experiment; adding all new audio-visual effects, elaborate combat sequences and an original score by Detroit-based industrial primitivists Glod. Anything but spandex soliloquies and cough syrup grammar morality bytes, A Macbeth involves the audience at every level, from the sensual to the shocking, the primal to the passionate in its most terrifying arena: the imagination. As television’s Ian Curtis, no stranger to guilt or obsession himself, might say, “this is the way, step inside.” the ACT is located at 2275 Platt Rd. In Ann Arbor, showtimes are at 8 p.m., Thursday thru Saturday, March 27.