Absolute Macbeth | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Absolute Macbeth


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The Polarity Ensemble Theatre's debut production, a drum-driven Macbeth, aims none-too-subtly at the "purging of a tyrant" and "redemption of a nation." But surprisingly, the show's hippie-agitprop-shaman elements--interpretive dance, ritual song, bloody sacrifice--are its tightest, cleanest, and most effective. The able and eager acting, however, isn't quite a match for the demands of Shakespeare's blackest play. For the most part the problem is a lack of gravitas; open-faced leads Brent Rivera and Ann Keen seem better suited to playing a couple like Oberon and Titania than the villainous thane and his viper of a wife. Abigail Trabue, Bobby Zaman, and Steven Marzolf shoot closer to the mark playing Macbeth's principal antagonists. All in all, a rough but promising first effort from director and company head Richard Engling. Through 5/22: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 7 PM. Breadline Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice, 847-293-7705. $20.

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