A look back at Macbeth at the Park Ave Armory

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"Something wicked this way comes..." The Park Avenue Armory is HUGE.  This building was erected by New York's Seventh regiment of the National Guard in 1861.  It served as a military facility and social club for members that included such storied names as the Vanderbilts and Roosevelts.  The 55,000 square foot drill hall has been transformed into a Scottish countryside and battle arena for this latest adaption of Shakespeare's tragedy.  The seating is set up like a stadium with bleachers rising up from either side of the stage.  On the two open ends of the stage you have a "fair" area crowned by a raised cross and on the other end "foul" pillars leading into the darkness of the woods.   A lot of thought went into the staging of this production, with elements of earth and water used predominately and I thought it was a fantastic use of the gargantuan space.

Sir Kenneth Branagh as Macbeth embodied the ambitious Scot "full of sound and fury" and was very focused in his portrayal.  Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth was riveting and scary.  Alas, this run has ended but I did run into Sir Kenneth once it concluded.  He mentioned that they may take the production elsewhere.  If they do I would highly recommend this show to anyone, especially fans of the Bard.

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