By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
It's only here, late in the play, with his castle caked in the DNA of everyone he knew, that Macbeth finally sees that he's missed the point of life entirely. His ambition and ego have ruined him — he was basically the 11th century Donald Trump, with better hair — and now Macduff's army, camouflaged by tree branches, is creeping up to kill him, a trick predicted by the hags.
At Shakespeare Dallas, after all the sound and fury of witches and apparitions and gunfights at the Gaelic corral, director Novinski chooses to drag out the climactic showdown between Macbeth and Macduff. Having introduced high-powered weapons in this production, they suddenly go old school, duking it out with bare fists instead (fight choreography is by Lloyd Caldwell). The actors roll around for far too long, fake-slugging each other on scenic designer Bob Lavallee's raked, sand-covered stage, with the castle canted at 45 degrees behind them.
Come on, fellas, you've strutted and fretted three hours upon that stage. Somebody reach for the gun and blow Macbeth's head off, so we can all head home.
Continues through September 29 at Shakespeare Dallas, Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre, 1500 Tenison Parkway; then October 3-14 at Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle, Addison. 8 p.m., Wednesdays through Sundays. $10 at gate. Reservations at shakespearedallas.org.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, there'll be another Macbeth, and a Macduff who will pull that trigger sooner.
There's more Shakespeare to come. The five-year collaboration between Shakespeare Dallas and ATTPAC will do every one of Willy's plays as staged readings starring local actors on Sundays and Mondays throughout the year. Next up: Othello, October 14 and 15 in the studio theater at the Winspear. A full production of King Lear (also in modern dress) opens January 18 at Dallas Theater Center at the Wyly. Bishop Arts Theater Center will present A Midsummer Night's Dream in Oak Cliff starting April 12.