Macbeth at the James J Hill House
This year I have gone from never seeing the Scottish play performed on stage to seeing three live versions of it. Each production brings something new, a deeper understanding of the story. A different way to look the relationships.
Wayward Theatre's production at the James J Hill brings an intimacy, and a sense of immediacy to the story. The story told by the Wayward Theatre takes place in the 1940s. We the audience move around from room to room through the different scenes. This movement adds significantly to the show's run time, but the location brings so much more than a traditional stage can brings. When there is a reference to a castle the majesty of the great rooms of the James J Hill House bring you right there. At the end when things start to crumble more and more the basement provides a sense of paranoid claustrophobia that enhances the show's emotions.
The show has two start times in order to solve the problem of some of the smaller rooms at the beginning of the play. The 7pm start time gets treated to a beautiful concert while waiting for the 7:30 group to catch up. The singing by Meghan Sherer is beautiful, and does continue the feel of the 1940s but I couldn't help from wanting the plot of the story to continue without a break.
The intimacy of the James J Hill House leave no where for the performers to hide. They are right in front of you, and all of the actors more than rise the occasion. Michael Kelley's Macbeth captures the loyalty turned ambitiousness masterfully. Sarah Nargang's Lady Macbeth was cunning, twisting logic with both her husband and her guests. Tina Frederickson, Alessandra Bongiardina and Megan Daoust as the weird sisters were unsettling, propelling Wayward Theatre's Macbeth to be the perfect show this Halloween season.
Macbeth is playing at the James J Hill House through November 17th.
*Photo by Blkk Hand