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  Macbeth at Chicago Shakespeare Theater


Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

The famed creators behind CST's sold-out The Tempest, Aaron Posner and Teller (of Penn & Teller), reunite for a new, enchanted take on "the Scottish play." Diving into the psyches of Macbeth and his Lady, Shakespeare's seductive, twisted text delivers an explosive, unforgettable examination of what drives a person to risk utter destruction for power. Magic, witches, dark moors, and stunning sights will delight and trick the eye. Presented in the flexible performance space of The Yard, a unique configuration specifically designed for this show will perfectly match Teller's and Posner's wild imaginings in a thrilling culmination to the season.

Thru - Jun 24, 2018

Price: $48-$88

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-595-5600

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  Macbeth Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...For, in general, as thrilling as this production consistently feels, it is invulnerable. Characters describe the loss of everyone they love without really making you feel like their world has been shattered. The psychological torment that roams this earth feels like a cloak designed to conceal the deepest truths. No-one knows themselves enough to make everything make sense."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...This is a spooky staging of the tragedy, where the weird sisters – otherwise known as the witches – unendingly stalk Macbeth and his Lady and create a haunting background score by singing creepy-but-melodic high whines. Ghoulish heads emerge from the bubbling cauldron to provide their problematic prophecies. When Macbeth (Ian Merrill Peakes) asks, “Is that a dagger that appears before me…?”, a dagger is indeed appearing before him, clean one moment and bloody the next."
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Steven Oxman

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Of course, there's still the possibility of a good scare. But the awe is lacking in that regard as well. Two of the play's staple moments of horror-Macbeth's visions, first, of a floating dagger and then of the murdered Banquo (Andrew White) at a banquet-unfold in less than surprising ways. Indeed, the Banquo passage is marred by blocking that telegraphs an upcoming effect: you've got to wonder what's going on behind courtiers when they bunch up unnaturally, as if posing for a group selfie."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Every character in this play suffers; the lucky ones get it over with quickly. By bringing the play’s supernatural elements to the fore, Posner and Teller make clear that none of these people are really in control. The witches (McKinley Carter, Theo Germaine and Emily Ann Nichelson) here are white-skinned monsters-of-the-week (with makeup by Richard Jarvie) who preside over the whole twisted affair like angry demigods. It’s clear that they are the ones in charge. No wonder everyone is constantly commenting and quipping. They’re just along for the same terrible ride, whistling a tune to ward off the dark."
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Alex Huntsberger

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...If ever there was a play meant for the sleight of Teller’s magicianly hand, it is Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” The Scottish tragedy is all about what appears to be there, but is not. Ambiguity, misdirection, illusion: This is the stuff of “Macbeth,” and it forms the clever heart of the play’s current incarnation at Chicago Shakespeare Theater."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Happily uncluttered by any complicating concept, Navy Pier's Scottish tragedy is boilerplate, mail-order Macbeth, vintage havoc and contagious bedlam. Peculiarly pictorial (great tableaux here), the performances are never less than solid and supportive. The rhetoric may not soar as far as the props drop but the devil's in the designs: Posner and Tell refuse to domesticate or diminish the unprocessed pain that Shakespeare left naked and ashamed."
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Lawrence Bommer

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"...Let's Play highly recommends that you witness this story of magic arising from the never-ending mysteries of cause and effect filled with hypnotic spells and prophesies at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater."
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Rick and Brenda McCain

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...No matter how many times you may have witnessed "Macbeth", until you see this version, the magic will not be the same. The play and in particular the solid production as co-adapted and directed by these two geniuses is filled with magic, music, witches ( the three witches are amazing as portrayed by McKinley Carter, Emily Ann Nichelson and Theo Germaine), beheadings, blood and fear. With the magic of Teller, the presentation take son a different look and the story parts become more meaningful."
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Alan Bresloff

WTTW - Recommended

"...Posner and Teller, along with their cast and design team, infuse the play with much “magic” – from composer Andre Pluess’ overall soundscape and haunted and haunting harmonies for the Weird Sisters, to the clever use of trap doors and blood-letting. But the real sleight-of-hand here has to do with the way they make the play feel so immediate and eerily contemporary in both the way it is spoken and in its exploration of the lust for power, and the cycle of corruption and cover-ups it can propagate. (That said, several moments of black humor and breaches of the fourth wall feel like unnecessary comic relief.)"
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Teller and Aaron Posner have done it again. They've returned to Chicago Shakespeare to direct in the Theatre's new, adaptable Yard venue, perfectly staging their reimagined version of the Bard's tragic tale of unbridled ambition and greed. This production certainly ranks among this company's finest. An impressively talented cast of 22 actors, along with countless gifted behind-the-scenes artists, join forces to bring this classic, a must-see production, to Chicago audiences. Audiences will be enthralled by this stellar version, cloaked in lightning, thunder and roiling fog, of one of Shakespeare's scariest and bloodiest plays. As the Weird Sisters warn, upon experiencing this production, theatergoers will Sleep No More."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...The CST production employs a large cast, several of the performers doubling in roles. There is excellence everywhere, with a particularly impressive performance by Timothy D. Stickney as Macduff. His reaction to the news that Macbeth had murdered his wife and two children was a heartbreaking blend of anger, disbelief, and grief. Adam Wesley Brown is a youthful but commanding Malcolm. Edgar Miguel Sanchez and Samuel Taylor give the background characters of Lennox and Ross real dramatic (and sometimes humorous) heft. There is also good work from Jennifer Latimore as Lady Macduff, Christopher Donahue in the dual roles of Duncan and the doctor, and Andrew White as Banquo. Of course, a huge shout out goes to Matthew Floyd Miller who leads the audience so merrily through the porter scene."
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Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Recommended

"...Despite the lack of real magic, MACBETH is a solid production. Ian Merrill Peakes (Macbeth) and the fierce Chaon Cross (Lady Macbeth) are a power couple. The witches, played by actor-singers McKinley Carter, Theo Germaine, and Emily Ann Nichelson, creepily loom in the rafters or on the stairs. They bring a supernatural vibe to this otherwise conventional MACBETH. Nod out to the design team, Mara Blumenfeld (costumes) and Richard Jarvie (wig and make-up), for creating their own brand of otherworld sorcery on the witches."
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Katy Walsh

Third Coast Review - Recommended

"...Theater and illusion are ephemeral, living only on the imagination. Yet audiences get to glimpse the unconscious in Macbeth’s soliloquies and in his wife’s sleepwalking confessions, making magic and manifestation as happy a couple as the main characters in this deft, sleight-of-hand interpretation."
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Karin McKie

Chicago Theater and Arts - Recommended

"...Adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, who did Chicago Shakes’ “Tempest” production, their “Macbeth” proves a worthy vehicle for ghostly special effects and a bit of audience participation."
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Jodie Jacobs

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...For those of us expecting many magic touches akin to those we saw in THE TEMPEST at Chicago Shakespeare in an earlier production directed by Aaron Posner and co-director magician Teller, the big surprise is that the pure sleight of hand touches are relatively few. Rather, it's the magic of theater in general -superlative acting coupled with overall excellence in stagecraft that makes this MACBETH such a standout. With millisecond precision, acting and stagecraft combine into a continuous WOW!"
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Amy Munice

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   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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