Northwood High School MacbethBy Cappies • Mar 14th, 2014 • Category: Cappies
Eerie light spills from the sky as rain begins to pour on the victorious generals of Scotland, Macbeth and Banquo, making their way back from the front. The fog slithers past them, obscuring their vision of what is to follow. It seems like a night for spirits, or witches, as the case might be. It is this night that the horrible events of Macbeth will begin to transpire with echoing voices telling of all-too-tempting promises. Northwood High School’s production of the Shakespearean classic portrayed this cautionary tale with gusto.
Macbeth, also called ‘the Scottish play’ by the superstitious theatre community, is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies. The play was written around 1606 and has been performed frequently in the many following centuries, due to its compelling look at the corrupting nature of ambition and the destruction that stems from ruthless power. Macbeth is a loyal and talented Scottish general until he is given a prophecy from a trio of Weird Sisters, foretelling that he will one day be king. When other promises that fell from their lips begin to be realized, Macbeth and his wife’s bitter desire propel them into a sinful plot to fulfill their destiny.
The show was headed ably by Michael Katz as the tortured and emotional titular character. Among a cast that sometimes faltered in energy, he kept the intensity at high levels with his booming voice and wild gestures. His scheming wife was portrayed with commitment by Emma-Lea Jacklin who provided an interesting foil to Katz’s great rages. The two worked together to ceaselessly push the show along towards its terrifying and dramatic conclusion. Macduff (Nick Lingenfelter), Macbeth’s final enemy who brings the tyrant to his knees, also gave a standout performance.
The performers in the diverse ensemble of the show served their purposes well in order to keep the twisted story moving along smoothly. Sam Gracia gave a memorable performance as King Duncan in the short space of time before Macbeth murders him to further his dark designs. Gracia was regal and royal in his speech and mannerism, possessing a needed gravitas that was sometimes missing from this production.
However, it is the witches and their creeping minions who deserve special recognition for their captivatingly spooky performances. The three Weird Sisters (Mica Lewis, Brianna Lattanzio, Naomi Eskenazi) embodied the otherworldly beings with smooth fluidity and powerful chants. Their ethereal existence was highlighted by shifting, shadowy lights and rolling fog that misted across the stage whenever they appeared. Their crowd of flesh-eating minions also contributed to the horrifying images with their possessed movements and growling noises. An interesting choice was to have these minions play other roles surrounding Macbeth’s downfall such as the talented Celene Daniels who threw herself into her minion role as well as one of the assassins who slaughters Banquo.
Just when all seems solved and good, the Weird Sisters appear once more, swarming over Malcolm in a promise of an endless cycle of corruption. The memorable tale of Macbeth and his wife is a lesson on the corrupting nature of power and greed; one that will continue to ensnare audiences in its tantalizing web for centuries to come. Northwood High School gave a respectable and enjoyable performance of the spellbinding story.
by Emma Paquette of McLean High School
Photos by Stephanie Smestad
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