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Macbeth Reviews: Ethan Hawke on Broadway Upstaged by Witches, Set

macbethatLincolnCenterThe three male witches are the stars of the Lincoln Center production of Macbeth on Broadway, even though Ethan Hawke plays the title character, according to several of the reviews on opening night, which were not positive. “Tepid” and “mishandled” writes The Hollywood Reporter; “dismal and dark” writes the New York Times; a “turkey” writes AMNewYork.

Not all the reviews were negative: The Associated Press called it an “elegantly noir production.”

But most were disappointed that the witches and the set upstaged the lead characters. Ethan Hawke is “oddly uncharismatic and too internalized to grab the spotlight from the tall, stark, elegantly vaulting set designed by Scott Pask,” wrote Newsday.

The Daily News is more positive about Ethan Hawke — “the 43-year-old actor churns up a cauldronful of emotions” and “ably anchors Shakespeare’s tragedy” — but, again is upstaged by the the witches, especially one “wearing a furry getup that looks like she raided Lady Gaga’s closet. She’s followed by a creepy coterie of actors on all fours. Between those crawling beasts and Mark Bennett’s spooky music, there’s a not entirely welcome Halloween-party feel at times.”

“Much of the text is garbled,” writes Vulture/New York Magazine. “…there are images I won’t soon forget: a trick bouquet of wilting flowers, Banquo’s ghost in a glittering necklace of knives. Unfortunately, Macbeth is more than just what meets the eye; even the witches knew to feature tongue in their recipe.”

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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