By Diego Olivares
“A Macbeth” is a visually stunning and well-preformed play that has a confusing narrative.
The story is a retelling of William Shakespeare’s classic featuring the doomed anti-hero, Macbeth, and his vampy wife. Together, the two try to plot and carry out the assassination of their king in an attempt to take control of the kingdom. Eventually, all of this spirals out of control, leading to tragic results.
In this version of the classic, much of the story is told from the point of view of Macbeth, all of it taking place in his head.
One factor that immediately stood out was the set design. Everything about it, from the ghostly white curtains hanging from the top of the stage to much of the floor-leveled stage elements, is perfectly designed.
Looking at much of these settings help give the play a rather ghostly vibe. This is fitting for a play that deals with dark, almost near Gothic, subject matter like “A Macbeth.”
In addition to the sets was the use of lighting, using the hard lighting during many of the scenes set within reality was a good choice.
However, it was the color choices such as red, blue and purple that seals the deal. What made them especially powerful was the idea that these color were being used during the more dream-like moments of the play.
One of the biggest lighting standouts of the show was during the Lady Macbeth sleepwalking scene. The scene called for the use of pure blue lighting. The use of it is perfect, as it creates a lucid, dream-like feeling to the scene. This moment is one of the standout scenes in the play.
Additionally, the brief, yet effective, action moments of the play are fantastic as well. This brought out a feeling of intensity. The way they were blocked-out gave out a real sense of danger that were quick, yet strong.
In terms of performances, many of the actors did a good job with their characters. The real stand-out of the show was Samuel Solorio as the lead character of Macbeth.
With this role, Solorio was able to create an intensity that fits his character well. He makes the play his own.
Marissa Ruiz plays the villainous Lady Macbeth. The scene where she stood-out was the aforementioned scene of her character sleepwalking.
She really nails this moment as it shows the weakest and damaged-nature of her character.
Other performers who stood-out include Gabriela Maldonado as one of the three sinister witches in the play.
The story was all over the map at times. It was really hard to follow the story of the play.
At times, there was the feeling that the design of the play overtook the story because it was very hard to follow at times. If it wasn’t for the strong visual style and good acting, the play would have fallen apart.
In addition, the length of the play was not that long.
The running time is about 90 minutes, which felt like a proper length for the play. Any longer and the play would have been ruined due to its confusing storyline.
One of the most interesting aspects of the play was how experimental its presentation was. Large projections of characters speaking offstage were used well to propel storyline. Yet, one technical flaw from this production was their choice to sit audience members on stage.
The images are projected onto the curtains on stage and create a ghostly mood for the performance. Yet, audience members on stage cannot see the projections as well as the audience in front of the stage.
The mood itself is dark at times, but like the design, it fixes the tone of the story perfectly.
“A Macbeth” is a play where its uses of visuals, design and good performances saved it from a confusing storyline. The play will run until Nov. 24.