Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival

Macbeth

by William Shakespeare

Directed by John Juliani

July 7- September 25, 1999

Reviewer: Ed Farolan

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.

Alessandro 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.

Copyright Ed Farolan. 1999