"MACBETH" THE HAUNTING BEGINS IN HARTFORD

 

BONNIE GOLDBERG

Even valiant warriors can be corrupted by power and ambition and nowhere is that more evident than in the Shakespearian tragedy of "Macbeth." When a spellbinding trio of witches, Kate MacCluggage, Mahira Kakkar and Kaliswa Brewster, greet Macbeth as he returns triumphantly from war, they prophesize that he will soon become Thane of Cawdor and quickly thereafter King of Scotland.

As his sleeping ambitions stir to life, Macbeth, with the encouragement of his wife, Lady Macbeth, a curiously captivating Kate Forbes, strives to hasten the prediction and help him achieve his goals even sooner.  The Hartford Stage will chronicle this charged with blood lust tale, in repertory with "La Dispute," until Sunday, November 10. The production is word perfect and masterful in its power and passion. Shakespearian purists will rejoice.

Men and women of conscience can still be misled and allow themselves to descend into the depths of self-deception. So it is with the once courageous and honorable Scottish nobleman Macbeth and his accommodating spouse. Their murderous deeds come back to haunt them through ghostly apparitions and sleep walking buts as they try in vain to rid their hands of blood and gore. To gain his ends, he commits acts most heinous, killing all those who stand in his way to the throne: men, women and even children.

Matthew Rauch is superb as the once brave soldier who allows visions of grandeur to corrupt his soul. His descent into madness is a portrait of passionate pathos, his disintegration astounding to witness. This once good man has surrendered to his evil side, and he plows down, friend or foe, everyone in his path:  King Duncan (David Manis), Banquo (Grant Goodman), and the family of Macduff (Robert Eli). To a person, the entire cast is riveting, including the porter (Noble Shropshire) who brings a welcome dose of wisdom and humor to his part.

Darko Tresnjak is the chief conjurer responsible for this magical masterwork, with the aid of costumer Suttirat Anne Larlarb, the lighting of Matthew Richards and the sound design of Jane Shaw.

For tickets ($25-95), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street,Hartford at 860-527-5151 or online at www.hartfordstage.org. Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Sunday and selected Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 p.m. This is a repertory production with "La Dispute" so check the listings.

Watch Macbeth, consumed by "the sound and the fury," allow his wishes and wants to propel himself into a mad obsession and Macduff (Robert Eli) and Malcolm(Philippe Bowgen), King Duncan's son) restore reason to the realm.

Posted 10.25.2013


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