Marionette Macbeth | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Marionette Macbeth

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This collaboration between Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Milan's venerable Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla e Figli is a disappointing bore. Seven actors under the guidance of local director Kate Buckley voice the text of Shakespeare's Scottish tragedy while beautiful handcrafted marionettes strut and fret their two hours (with intermission) upon the stage. The stiff gestures, stodgy stage pictures, and declamatory line readings suggest an antiquated Shakespearean style that's mostly tedious though sometimes unintentionally comical--when Lady Macbeth "jumped" to her death on opening night, the audience barely stifled snickers. The production's saving graces are the lovely trompe l'oeil backdrops and symphonic composer Fabio Vacchi's hair-raising, dissonant music, played during scene changes. But when a show's most exciting moments are the blackouts, something's wrong. --Albert Williams a Through 3/25: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 3 and 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand, 312-595-5600, $30-$45. C

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