All hail "Macbeth"

Dec. 7, 2005, midnight | By Mary Donahue | 18 years, 6 months ago

Lumina production both captivates and disturbs

As far as "the Scottish Play" is concerned, there have been so many different interpretations that it is hard to keep any production original. Regardless, Lumina Studio's production of "Macbeth" managed to shed light on a unique perspective of the play with a talented and barefooted cast.

The specters of the witches (Lizzi Albert, Elissa Heller and Max Kameras) were present throughout the entire play and seemed to control the twists and turns of the plot. The witches appeared to be credible symbols for the evil that consumed Macbeth (Colin Forhan), more so than Lady Macbeth's (Ellie D'Eustachio) lust for power does.

"Macbeth," directed by Jillian Raye and David Minton, tells the story of Macbeth's spiraling downfall into a pit of murder, deceit and despair. Macbeth, a promising Scottish general, receives a troubling prophecy from the three captivatingly eerie witches, foretelling his rise to the throne. Though he is loyal to the Scottish king, Duncan (Michael Novello), plans of treason and murder begin to hatch in Macbeth's sinister mind. These plans, fed by his power-hungry wife, Lady Macbeth, became actions. When Duncan is found dead in his bed, Duncan's sons, Malcolm (Renee Brown) and Donalbain (Katie Frank), flee from Scotland, fearing for their lives. Although Macbeth acts as if Ducan's sons were the murderers, Macduff (Sam Teitelbaum), a noble who served Duncan, sees past Macbeth's ploys and flees to England to gather support against "the tyrant" Macbeth, whose mental health gradually fails as guilt torments him.

Featuring extraordinary talent, the Lumina Ensemble captures the raw conflict of emotion present throughout Shakespeare's shortest tragedy. Forhan takes the viewers on an emotional trip; his neurotic, schizophrenic behavior jars the audience and seems almost like second nature to him. He captures Macbeth's journey into insanity as if it were his own plight. Not to be overshadowed, D'Eustachio's Lady Macbeth is equally seductive and sinister. Her sleepwalking scene is disturbing. Novello's porter, with his drunken antics and off-key jingles, steals the show whenever present, providing the only comic relief in an otherwise dark play.

Though the special effects were minimal—including reflective paper and intermittent flashes of bright light—it forced the actors to ensure a quality production. The final battle between Macbeth and MacDuff, choreographed by Minton, incorporates both slow motion and fast-pace sword fighting and looks almost professional.

Before the performance, all the patrons were forced to stand in a designated "waiting area." The combination of this disorganized idea and a sold out show led to a stampede of children and adults, all scrambling for seats. A television allowed the waiting audience to watch the actors warm up, but only the lucky few at the front of the pack could see it.

Other than the organization, the only fault in production was the sound system. Because of the theater's cavernous construction, the ominous music resonated loudly throughout it, which effectively set the mood but occasionally overpowered the actors. The stadium seating looking down at the stage and gave the viewer a unique perspective.

"Macbeth" marks one of the final performances of the Lumina Ensamble's seniors Sally Lanar, Albert and Teitelbaum—but it is a grand way to end what seems to have been a wonderful experience. "Macbeth" gives the audience an entertaining and memorable night that will stay in their memories for a long while.

"Macbeth" is showed on Dec. 2,3 and 4. The December 2 performance is at 8:15, the rest at 8:00 p.m. in the Round House Theater (8641 Colesville Road, next to the AFI Silver Theater). There is no cost for tickets, but donations are appreciated.

Mary Donahue. Mary Donahue is an 11th grade, vegetarian Honors student who is addicted to sugar. Whatever free time she can find is quickly swallowed up by Doback, "her" horse, or her crazy friends, with whom she scares mortals. She isn't happy unless she is moving, which … More »

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