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REVIEWERS SIX DEGREES
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reginaldmcneely [ALL REVIEWERS]
Companies Reviewed#
Georgia Shakespeare2
Dad's Garage Theatre Company1
Average Rating Given : 4.66667
Reviews in Last 6 months :
REVIEWS

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
It's a terrific evening out, and a top-notch production
Friday, May 6, 2005
4.0
Okay, I liked the production. It's very ambitious. Even more than the production, I like this level of theater being available in Atlanta, and especially in such a terrific outdoor venue as the Piedmont stage. The actors are top notch. The production is as professional as I've seen anywhere in Atlanta, which is even more impressive since it's outside in the park.

I've never been a fan of Macbeth. I've seen it four times before, and have never liked it. I never really understood the second half until I saw this production--and I'm an English teacher, so I'm supposed to know these things!

Strangely, the part of the play that I do understand, from the beginning until right after the murder of Duncan, didn't draw me in, though it was well-performed. Then I discovered why: Daniel May, as Macbeth, really turns on the gas when he's got blood all over his hands and torso. He shifted into a different gear. Brik Berkes as Macduff hits a very effective emotional peak when he is told about the slaughter of his wife and children. Brik's very real emotion at that point almost seemed out of place among the rest of the production's more melodramatic "stage emotion".

My only nitpick, before I continue praising the production, is that the actors never seemed to be talking with each other. In other words, the conversations didn't seem real. The reactions seemed staged, rather than genuine. The resonance of the actors' voice was frequently high and strident even if there was no reason for it. I also noticed they didn't look into each other's eyes. I have to think that makes a difference in relating with one another. I'd like the entire production, and the entire festival for that matter, to give some attention to behaving more naturally, like real people. I have to wonder if some of the scenes would have packed more punch if the actors were allowed to be quieter, play the transitions, and have more subtle, real reactions.

I was really happy with Witch #1 who really committed to the part and created her own very unique take on the role. Her affectations, while absurd, were always convincing and consistent with the character of the witch she was playing. She was very entertaining to watch. I'm also happy that the other witches didn't copy her affectations, and instead created very different characters--and in fact MADE each individual witch a unique character.

Speaking of the witches, they sure are involved in this show. They are pulling everyone's strings, especially Macbeth. I've never seen them so involved before. Usually they show up two or three times and that's that. I liked their involvement, but I'm left wondering why they were so involved? What's their stake in Macbeth's advancement and downfall? What do they get out of it?

I'm glad they didn't attempt the Scottish accents.

The swordfighting was very exciting.

The costumes were evocative.

The set was very interesting to look at. The actors climbed all over the thing, and that was fun to watch.

The lighting and especially the sound were very evocative and served to bed the action nicely and enhance the setting and drama of the play.

I had a very good time, and I'm very happy that GSF is making Shake and the Lake an annual event.

Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare
Very entertaining and easy to understand
Friday, October 19, 2001
5.0
I really enjoyed this production. The set is spectacular--extremely ornate and with a rotating stage that suits the various moods of the show very well. I saw the show in a 10:00 a.m. student matinee and the creative staging and energetic acting kept the students awake, and, more importantly, interested and quiet.
The performances are spectacular with Chris Kayser and Bruce Evers truly inhabiting their roles and becoming the characters. With these actors on stage I felt comfortable that the show was in good hands. I am very happy that I saw this production of Julius Caesar. It was entertaining and performed in a way that made it very easy to understand.

The Zurich Plays, by Brian Griffin and Marc Cram
Strange--inventive--Glad I saw it.
Thursday, May 24, 2001
5.0
What a weird show. Throughout the play I felt a bit lost, but I think that the show is purposefully ambiguous.
The play is creative--It has a structure and a design that is very unique. I think that because the play keeps taunting the audience and randomly disturbing the conventions of theater and frequently breaking the fourth wall, the audience becomes a willing participant in the Dada experience. I must admit that after seeing Zurich Plays I was intrigued enough to do hour's worth of internet research on the Dadaists.
The performances were spectatular. All the actors were fully committed, especially Marc Cram, who amidst the madness, gently inspires sympathy.
I would see it again to catch what I missed the first time, and because there's nothing else like it.

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