on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
by John Juliani
7- September 25, 1999
This rendition of Macbeth directed by veteran film and theatre
director John Juliani received a strong applause of appreciation
by a full house during opening night performance. There were
a few who stood up to a standing ovation.
I've seen this play several times and I was impressed by the approach
Juliani took in this particular production. He captured the
supernatural which is the essence of this medieval play. The way
he portrayed the witches and the ghost of Banquo were unique.
The ghosts that carried Lady Macbeth away after her suicide was
impressive. The gory scene of the witch delivering a baby
which gets strangled was a first I've seen. The only thing
that bothered me was that there was a fourth witch who delivered
the baby and whom the audience identified as the drunk Porter who
earlier had provided comic relief after Duncan's death. I
felt that he should have camouflaged himself more, unless Juliani
purposely put him in there as another comic relief for that scene,
which I felt was inappropriate.
Juliani (John's son?) did a good job as Malcolm. Here
is an example of how nepotism enters the world of entertainment.
Why not? It's done in Hollywood, in politics, and besides,
the boy has talent!
I've seen Andrew Wheeler in the past Bard productions I've
reviewed, and here is an example of seasoned acting. His portrayal
of Macbeth would make Shakespeare resurrect from his grave. The
same goes for Janet Macdonald as Lady Macbeth. Her
red, Scottish hair and deceiving innocent looks make for a perfect
Scottish villainess, although I would have wanted to see more
passion and intensity when she convinces Macbeth to kill Duncan.
Congratulations to all for putting the 10th notch in this summer
festival. I was hoping to see him as Macbeth, but I guess his job
as Artistic Director and Executive Producer doesn't allow him to
indulge this year in his true profession and love: acting.