Broadway Reviews: Macbeth & Take Me Out

Take Me Out

Official Blurb: In this Tony Award®-winning Best Play, playwright Richard Greenberg celebrates the personal and professional intricacies of America’s favorite pastime. When Darren Lemming, the star center fielder for the Empires, comes out of the closet, the reception off the field reveals a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices. Facing some hostile teammates and fraught friendships, Darren is forced to contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties, and the price of victory. Take Me Out is supported by grants from the Berlanti Family Foundation, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

My Take: I loved this show. It was so much more than what expected. It is both funny and poignant, relevant and entertaining, extremely well acted and well directed. Its kind of sad that this show feels as relevant now in 2022 than it probably did in 2002 when it premiered. First lets talk about the cast – they are all fabulous. The cast was really the reason I came (I am a HUGE greys anatomy fan and also watched Suits religiously) so of course I was going to go see this, and really was not expecting much from the story itself. And both exceeded expectations. Jesse Williams is excellent in the role, and Patrick Adams, although a much less showy role, has a very strong presence. Jesse Tyler Fergusons role, is a right balance of funny and ridiculous without getting campy. Just so you know, the reason there is no playbill picture is because this show uses Yondr and your phones are locked in it from the start, which also leads to a content warning- there is a LOT of nudity. However I didn’t really know how that would play out, but it actually is not gratuitous. It is so appropriate and totally makes sense. Go see this show!

Macbeth

Official Blurb: TWO WORLD-CLASS ACTORS. ONE STRICTLY LIMITED ENGAGEMENT. BE THERE FOR THE THEATRICAL EVENT OF THE SEASON.

This spring, DANIEL CRAIG (No Time to DieA Steady Rain) makes his much-anticipated return to Broadway alongside RUTH NEGGA (PassingHamlet), making her Broadway debut, in this world premiere production of Shakespeare’s heart-racing drama MACBETH, directed by Tony Award® winner SAM GOLD (HamletOthelloFun Home). A tale of malice, matrimony and murder, MACBETH tells the story of one couple’s obsession with power—and their guilt after doing the unthinkable. For 15 weeks only, this thrilling new production will capture the passion and ferocity of Shakespeare’s most haunting text like never before.

My Take: I generally don’t write reviews this bad but this was crazy. I hadn’t read much about the show because I bought my ticket a while ago (thankfully with points because I might have been upset if I spend more money on this) but there was some mumbling saying it wasn’t great but I gave the benefit of the doubt and did not wanna read too much into it. It is however, for me a terrible mounting of this play. after I left the show I thought I had never read Macbeth and I did not understand it. I would say do not go, go see any of all of the other wonderful things that are on right now. The only redeeming factors in this are some stellar performances. Ruth Naga is brilliant and plays a low key but excellent lady Macbeth. Daniel Craig which is the reason why I bought this ticket is OK. He gives a very serviceable engaging performance that’s somewhat lost in the rest that is wrong. I did love his beautiful diction, I love people who make Shakespeare so contemporary and understandable. Amber Gray as a female Banqo is very good – it just doesn’t really go anywhere interesting as to why the gender change (director’s fault not hers). Which leads me to discuss everything that is not OK with the show. I was thoroughly confused. If you were going to save money (I wanna give it to this is the saving money because if it’s a concept don’t understand it ) and you have one actor play three roles give me something to differentiate them! this is Shakespeare it’s not like it’s that simple so the same person wearing the exact same outfit playing three roles – confusion central. I was confused, everybody was confused. You don’t know who it was you don’t know when they change it’s a mess  (Guy next to me was also with Wikipedia and the playbill like me in intermission figuring shit out) Also let’s talk about the costumes. They are cheap contemporary clothing, the costumes used in my college productions were better. given the fact costumes are crap you can at least give them two costumes or something that gives me that you’re a different character.  Also I did not understand why Macbeth is in pijamas for the final scenes – just one more thing that had me up in arms with the production. Bad direction is at the heart of all this confusion as there really is no concept. It’s a bare stage a rehearsal space with two poofy chairs. this is not a Broadway production caliber – it looks like a college show. Why is in contemporary times? Why the guerilla warfare and costumes at the end? I feel like the concept is gore and violence and a love for the fog machine. Furthermore why does the show have to be a 3 1/2 hours long? There is no need. I might have been very tired the day I saw it was a long day in New York but it was very long and boring and I was falling asleep. thank God for fireworks and shots at the end to wake me up. It has been a very long time since I’ve sat in the Broadway theater and painfully waiting for a show to end.

3 thoughts

  1. At one point during the performance of Macbeth I saw, an audience member yelled “This is boring!” and left the theater.
    I can’t disagree with their assessment.

  2. This play destroyed Macbeth. Quality of a high school drama club. The worst play i have ever seen. Shakespeare should sue them. No costumes, no scenery, New York English, lots of tomato paste for blood. BORING!!! Even Daniel Craig was dull.

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