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Theatre Review: “Macbeth” at Philadelphia’s Wilma Theatre

macbeth

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)  –  The Wilma Theatre, on South Broad Street (the “Avenue of the Arts”) in center city, is on record with a pronouncement that, after 31 seasons of groundbreaking productions, it has decided to produce Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” a familiar short work of violence and ambition.
 
But while this is an occasionally impressive production, it’s overworked and over-long.

The Wilma’s Blanka Zizka is no stranger to Macbeth.  Her production of The Bard’s short though memorable display of evil has its smugness and upfront nastiness, although an occasional character wanders unidentified in the dark and barren two-story set. 

It’s a modern-dress affair, with military personnel packing equally modern weapons.
 
Those familiar with the classic Macbeth understand it’s Lady Macbeth who stirs her husband to murder and assorted villainy, although the doomed Lady is clearly shortchanged in this production.
There are elaborate, though perhaps unnecessary, production gimmicks, especailly those related to the celebrated trio of “weird sisters” introduced here in overhead harnesses.

Indeed, much of the villainy in this new take of Macbeth is buried in a production needlessly
heavy on posing and dialogue.

Review by Bob Nelson, KYW Newsradio.

Photo provided