Friday, November 04, 2005

Have I Mentioned?

Last Weekend!!!!

directed by Michael Sokoloff

Abraham Peterka as Macbeth
Paula Grady as Lady Macbeth

Moongarden Acting Company

November 4, 5
at the Iowa City Community Theatre building.

Curtain 8pm


Matt posts on the Macbeth vs. Fortinbras articles in the DI here. He makes an interesting point I hadn't considered.

Key quote:
I said this in the article:

"I'm a believer that when you do Shakespeare, you should do something to make it different," Falduto said. "We're relating it to current life and having fun with it."

Considering the fact that the reviewer (same reporter who did our article) made a point of writing about how Moongarden's Macbeth is "plain" and "without any off-the-wall directorial decisions", I am sure he was thrilled to get my contrasting quote about how you should do something different with Shakespeare. His question to me was a leading one and I probably should have realized there was a reason he wanted me to say that. I haven't seen the print version of the articles, so I wonder if they're on the same page.

Yes, they were on the same page. I've got a copy, I'll bring it for you. In rereading the reviews, I agree that he wanted you to give that quote. Most of his critique of Macbeth was that it was too plain:
Moongarden plays Macbeth without any off-the-wall directorial decisions, but the end product runs about two hours, and therefore is an abbreviated, less-epic version of the traditional production. The story of the Scottish general whose staggering ambition turns to delirium certainly has potential to dazzle audiences time after time, but stylistic novelty is needed to best thrust this historic story into an exciting light. With little of that novelty, Moongarden relies on its acting talent and marginal amounts of spectacle to keep the play fresh. . . . .

Simply, performing "straight Macbeth" presents an difficult task for any acting company vying for awed audience response. Moongarden stuns people with its moments of intimate engagement, but otherwise, the show's best audience is those who have not seen or read the work before.

Still, if you're skeptical about Shakespearean productions performed inside converted barns on fairgrounds, fear not, for the performance is quite legitimate, just not astounding.

Obviously, he feels "straight Macbeth" nees some razzle-dazzle to keep it "fresh."

My two cents:

Given my background in literature, I have to disagree. It seems to me that many companies feel the need to reinvent Shakespeare - set it in post-Apocalyptic New York, make everything Japanese, make it a musical with modern tracks. Which is interesting, as a variation. For example, Dreamwell's Fortinbras is hilarious.
(See the Dreamwell site for tickets!).

But to downgrade the beauty of the classic text by implying it's inadequate on it's own, just "straight" - isn't that basically saying that a lily is nothing without a little gold trim?

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