A Macbeth Gripping Drama

Matt Tanguay/The Eastern Echo/March 3, 1993

Haunting, anguish ridden voices explode throughout the theater. They build and fuse into one deafening, desperate beckoning. Then it is silent. Such is the beginning of “A Macbeth,” a dizzying and fascinating journey through the fair and foul chambers of the heart and mind. The Ann Arbor Civic Theater’s production of “A Macbeth ” is a dramatic feast serving a rich assortment of good acting, excellent direction and stirring writing.

At the core of “A Macbeth” is Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” but this adaptation, written by Charles Markowitz, is sparse in dialogue. The movement of the play is carried by music and lighting. Often the senses are bombarded with enticing lights and moody, horrific sounds, which capture the lust and insanity present in the play. But the backbone of the play, the disturbed and bloodied psyches of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, is not lost in the whirlwind of sound and fury.

An intricate system of ramps and stairs allows the action to surround and invade the audience. Actors spontaneously appear as fantastic apparitions out of the dark and some senes are played above the audience by actors dangling on ropes.

George Popovich’s spectacular direction, innovative set, and lighting design make the play’s terror, violence and moral dilemma more immediate. This intense onslaught depicts a part of the modern world – a violent, tired world in which the sword is stronger then the word

Macbeth, played with skill by Steven Memran, deteriorates into a paranoid and eventually, a nihilist.

A Macbeth” is a horrific acid trip of a show that subverts normal theatre and beckons the audience to revel in its bloodlust.

“A Macbeth” is a challenging and griping evening of drama. From the opening shrieks to the bloody end, it examines the dark corridors of human events with raw and frightening power.

“A Macbeth” runs through March 27 at the Ann Arbor Civic Theater. Performances are Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $7, with Thursday being a two-for-one evening. For information, call 971-AACT.

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