An Over the Top Lady Macbeth & a Barbershop Quartet

Catch GreenStage‘s free indoor “Hard Bard” production of Macbeth while (and if) you still can! Currently it’s final 4 shows (though Oct. 30) are on stand by only (but evidently quite a few people who reserve free tickets don’t show up, so come early for a chance). Yes, I’m too far behind, and even though I’m skipping ahead, should have posted this review earlier last week, after going last Sunday night.

Lady Macbeth & Macbeth

Just like last year’s Titus Andronicus production, GreenStage’s “Hard Bard” version of Macbeth is over the top, bloody, a little wild and even zany in places. It’s definately a PG-13 production for both sex and violence; and the front two rows are a splatter zone. Lady Macbeth is over the top from her first scene, and a barbershop quartet?! Lots of scary ghosts as cast members start being killed off, always with the silly sisters cooking up some new evil.

From the Green Stage website:

Welcome to Scotland, where weird sisters prophesize, Ladies are shady, Thanes sing in barbershop harmony, murder is afoot, and Macbeth, the new Thane of Cawdor, would be happy to talk to you about it all if he wasn’t so busy going absolutely insane.

Reservations at: http://www.greenstage.org/reservations

GreenStage’s indoor space is at 2115 5th Ave. (next to Cinerama and across the street from Top Pot Doughnuts). They are the folks who bring us Shakespeare in the Park around the city during the summer (which I need to catch someday, too; and I’m sure are more family appropriate entertainment than their “Hard Bard” October fare).

While it’s free, donations are gladly accepted (and needed to keep it running), so give if and what you can. They have a cauldron for donations, and you can donate online as well.

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Revenge, Revenge, More Revenge & a Very Scary Clown. . .

Last Thursday, during Seattle’s Live Theater Week, I went to see Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus for free (which, it turns out to be for it’s entire run, through Oct.31, Halloween night).

Titustitle

This play was not for the faint-hearted (or stomached), as the Green Stage theater company putting it on warned everyone ahead of time. After billing the show as a “Hard Bard” production, they warn of every possible form of mayhem and adult theme including “lots of blood”. . .”a very bad clown, banjos & a hootenanny,” further warning that “the front row (at least) is a splash zone.”

Of course, this is Seattle, before the play started the house manager assured us the “blood” was corn-starch based and that no animals were harmed, further warning people with corn allergies to move out of the front row.

Titus Andronicus is early Shakespeare, and while having no great quotes, follows the familiar path of revenge, revenge and more revenge, and the play isn’t over until there are bodies strewn across the stage.  Don’t be fooled by everyone going out into the lobby on break.  This isn’t some modern play leaving loose ends hanging.  No, they’re gathered up and baked into a pie.

The play was simultaneously funny and disturbing. Spoiler alert.  How disturbing?

OK, I’m not usually bothered by clowns, but this one was very creepy. . .and he comes into the audience. . .

OK.  I was ready for all the mayhem and corn-starch blood, but they didn’t warn me about. . .clown sex!. . . un-protected clown sex!

Never have un-protected sex with a clown!

Enough said.  This is a scared straight production on that issue. . .

Definitely for Quentin Tarantino fans, with the rest of us a little queasy. . . In many ways, typical Shakespeare, though, as there’s terrible mayhem, revenge with more terrible mayhem, which continues until nearly everyone’s dead.

In many ways, it reminds me of modern day human rights.  So often the case, one side has done something terrible to the other, who in turn does something terrible to the other’s side, who. . .

An excellent cast, and I’ll have to catch some of them doing Shakespeare in the Park this summer, which is where the Green Stage Theater company usually plays. This one is playing indoors, a block from Cinerama, under the monorail, and across the street from Top Pot doughnuts.

All seats are free, although reserving ahead of time online is always a good idea, and donations are encouraged (and needed to put on the plays).

Further information, warnings and photos at:

http://www.greenstage.org/