Walking into the tiny Antaeus Company’s theater in North Hollywood, you are immediately transformed into the dark and Shakespearean world of Scotland. Tom Buderwitz has beautifully designed the set of Macbeth, which makes great use of Antaeus’ small stage. With parts of a castle and blood tipped trees spaced throughout the stage, the set is never changed but is used flawlessly as both the inside of the castle as well as various outdoor settings. The rather large cast is cleverly staged in order not to overwhelm the space. With four exits and entrances, everyone is perfectly timed so there is never a missed beat nor too many characters on stage.
Overall the direction of this play, by Jessica Kubzansky is wonderfully done. Kubzansky has allowed the actors to make the roles their own. Though she has done her own interpretation of this classic, without losing its Shakespearean nature.
Antaeus is a theater company that specializes in the classics. They also specialize in being extremely unique. All of their productions are double cast. Therefore if you go see Macbeth on Saturday and then again on Sunday, you will see two completely different casts. Also if you go on Thursday or Friday you will see a jumble of both casts, so there is always something new and refreshing every night.
I was very impressed with this production as a whole. I saw the “Thanes” cast, which is led by Rob Nagle (Macbeth) and Tessa Auberjonois (Lady Macbeth). In the opening scene both Nagle and Auberjonois brought tears to my eyes with their heart wrenching, agonizing funeral for their newborn baby. Throughout the rest of the play their range of emotions along their paths to utter destruction and turmoil are brilliantly played.
Jessica Olson has also done an imaginative and stunning job with the costumes of this production. Bringing in the Scottish styles of Kilts and clan colors, while still making them look modern and flattering. The dresses worn by the women are modestly stunning and very elegant. It can not be an easy feat to costume two casts, but by the example I saw, she has done a wonderful job.
This fabulous production of Macbeth runs through August 26th. Though I cannot yet comment on the quality of the “Kinsmen” cast, I am going out on a limb and speculating that they are probably very talented. After seeing this production I am very impressed by the Antaeus Company and have high hopes for their future productions as well as their other cast of Macbeth. If you are a fan of Shakespeare or classic theater in general then this is a must see for you.
Check the Antaeus website for a complete calendar of cast performances.