Short Shakespeare! Macbeth | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Short Shakespeare! Macbeth


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Director David H. Bell turns the Bard's shortest tragedy into a 75-minute fever dream of irrepressible ambition and inescapable doom. Pile-driving percussionist Ethan Deppe accompanies with what sounds like the wrath of God. Decked out in leather and tattoos, the 12 young, fit cast members fully flesh out the play's sound and fury, whether expressed in brooding ritual or explicit violence. (Don't bring children under ten.) As the killer spouses, Ben Viccellio and Cassandra Bissell make the guilt as convincing as the greed and pride. One complaint: an arrogant new ending contradicts Shakespeare's assertion that the cycle of violence ends with Macbeth. How many schoolkids will come away thinking Shakespeare was more cynical than they are? Through 4/22: Sat 11 AM, no show 3/4-3/18, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand, 312-595-5600, $10-$15.

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