Friday, October 7, 2011

Shakespeare Tavern: Macbeth

Last night was definitely something new for me, we attended a play at Shakespeare Tavern with Stephen's mom and grandma.  I've actually driven past the playhouse countless times but never really noticed it and definitely never went inside.

The website says that "The New American Shakespeare Tavern is unlike other theaters."  Indeed it is.  you walk in the doors and immediately head downstairs to the ticket office and the theater.  The theater isn't set up like a regular theater but instead with tables so audience members can eat and drink during the show.  Eating and drinking while watching Shakespeare, I'm sold.  Only the food was terrible.  Please, if you're going to head to the Tavern for a show, please eat before you get there.  I had the Cheese Ravioli with Yellow Squash - it was luke warm and the squash was almost unidentifiable.  And from what I hear, you need to get there an hour before show time to get a good seat.  The beers, however, were delicious.  They have a wide variety of premium brews to try, like a Tavern should.

Growing up I never had to read Macbeth, but I knew the basics of the story.  There was going to be sword fighting, a little bit of love, lots of murder and ghosts.  Yep, that's what we got.  Sitting through the play I was glad I never had to read it in high school.  There were a lot of slow moments with very long monologues.  Macbeth did not become one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

Another neat thing about the theater is all of the costumes are handmade.  They looked great.  During some of the very slow parts I actually focused more on the costumes than what was being said.  (Kind of like when I was a kid and I'd go to SeaWorld with my parents.  They'd take me to the Shamu show and only watch the birds.  It's a killer whale in front of me and I want to look at birds.)

Onto the acting: some of the performers were better than the others.  There was a definite difference between the people who were just remembering their lines vs. those who really understood the material.  If the actor really knew the work it was easy to follow their lines.  There were also a few actors who made it very difficult to understand their lines.  Shakespeare is hard enough to understand when you're reading it, if you have an actor who talks too fast or not clear enough it just ruins it.

I'm sure we'll head back to see another play, but maybe one of the funnier plays.  I also realized while I was there that I really haven't read much Shakespeare at all.  Let's just add that to my reading list.

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