‘Macbeth’: Familiar Story Completely Re-Imagined

A raw re-imagining of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” comes to the newly renovated Stage Theatre at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. “Macbeth” runs September 15 – October 29th. For tickets and information go to the “Macbeth” page at denvercenter.org.

DENVER (CBS4) – One of the marvelous things about Shakespeare is that all the characters and the themes, though some 400 years old, still ring true. And in that can be reshaped and replayed in any one of a thousand different ways: traditional, modern, or as with “Macbeth” turned on it’s head.

macbeth 1 Macbeth: Familiar Story Completely Re Imagined

(credit DCPA)

“It will be different than you’ve ever seen it before because of the design schemes that they have going on: cutting edge costumes, lighting, projections, sound,” said Ariel Shafir, who plays Macbeth.

macbeth 2 Macbeth: Familiar Story Completely Re Imagined

(credit DCPA)

Along with that the play is also being presented through the lens of a dramatically, high-energy all-male cast, which is truly traditional, by law women were not allowed on stage in 1600.

macbeth 3 Macbeth: Familiar Story Completely Re Imagined

(credit DCPA)

“We’re gonna see it through the lens of the supernatural, of the witches. And then this is an all-male production so it will be the warlocks, through the eyes of the warlocks, so the story through their eyes, I think, is definitely unique,” Shafir told CBS4.

Some might think that this production is a stunt, but this re-imagining in some ways comes directly from the text.

macbeth 4 Macbeth: Familiar Story Completely Re Imagined

(credit DCPA)

“All these interesting references, when Macbeth first sees the witches he says, ‘You should be women because you are witches and yet you have beards.’ So as you go through the text certain aspects will be illuminated and take on a meaning that might have just been incidental in a very, just sort of, down the middle of the road production,” Shafir explained.

Critic At Large Greg Moody’s Review: 

“Shakespeare can be produced any where, in any time, in anyway. Old Bill is just like that. “Macbeth” can even be staged as an all-male, leather clad, electronic music, movement heavy, MMA bout. 

No matter how you do it the text remains and the text is what matters most. [Director] Robert O’Hara keeps the text alive in this re-imagined production, heavy on both violent and sexual imagery.

Ariel Shafir is a proudly ambitious Macbeth, while Adam Poss brings the essential predatory evil to his lady.

Meanwhile, the tech and music heavy production does show off the newly remodeled Space Theatre to good advantage. 

Still I have to wonder what was the point of the all-male production? Did it illuminate, illustrate, or enhance the script? Well, I honestly don’t know, but something in this production captured me to the point that I simply can’t stop thinking about it, which was possibly the point all along.

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