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Adagio Teas
   Features  >  NY Theater Reviews

 
MAC BETH
at Frederick Loewe Theater

FERAL FEMALES
By JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ

  Sharlene Cruz, Dylan Gelula and Sophie Kelly-Hedrick/ Ph: Ahron R. Foster

Eye of newt and tongue of dog regularly get plopped into the theatrical pot in a production of the Scottish play. Meanwhile, side-eye and tongue-in-cheek are tossed into Mac Beth. That’s the title of adapter and director Erica Schmidt’s raucous, rain-drenched and, ultimately, unenlightening take on Shakespeare’s power play as seen through the eyes of a pack of feral females – uniformed teenaged schoolgirls acting out the tragedy in a grassy lot littered with a cruddy couch and a gross bathtub. The script, while streamlined, is the same as always, but there are more laughs, somersaults and hygiene products than you’d see in a traditional telling. On the other hand, there isn’t more illumination into the play’s much-mined blood-spattered themes.
 
In lieu of fresh insights, the compelling reason to recommend the show at Hunter Theater Project, following a Red Bull Theater premiere run last year, is the game-for-anything ensemble. Brittany Bradford leads the cast as Macbeth and is terrific at conveying the ambitious streak and conflicted emotions. As Lady Macbeth, Ismenia Mendes throws herself into the role – hence, her kneepads – and is a force to reckon with. Throughout its 90 minutes, the show seems to have something else up its tartan-trimmed sleeves. But what? If you read the director's notes before the play, which I never do, it’s no mystery. The reveal emerges in the final few minutes and is meant to send shivers about the evil that men – and young women with knives and smartphones – do. Instead it comes off as old news and falls flat, and there are no kneepads to cushion the landing.

 


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