Macbeth is the classic Shakespearean tale of ambition, murder and madness we all read in Junior High, it's be adapted numerous times but when shiny headed space hunk Patrick Stewart became attached to this Rupert Goold directed production, suddenly the play is attracting buzz again.
This sold-out show in the lovely (but inconveniently located) BAM Harvey Theater is exciting, bloody, and dark and loud. The setting and costumes are updated to resemble a vaguely Soviet 1950s, but the dialog, which references locations and titles specific to Scotland and England, is unchanged to fit the set. In another modern overhaul, the three sisters are now menacing nurses who almost rap their incantations (sounds worse than it is, I promise), rear projection videos help to enliven the sparse scenery and the play ends with the brandishing of a blood-drenched decapitated head.
It has proven so popular (completely sold out right away) that it?moves on to Broadway soon. The actors, including Stewart but also a radiantly evil Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth, are part of the reason for the success. The language can be hard to follow, particularly if it's been a while since you've heard Shakespeare, but with good acting and staging it is accessible.
It's worth noting, though, that it does run three hours and some of the old ladies surrounding me were having very a hard time keeping their cool during the last third. One giant man behind us even feel asleep and was snoring. Though with all the clamor, thrills and drama of this production, I can't see how he managed.