Circle in the Square Theatre, (1/28/1982 - 2/14/1982)

First Preview: Jan 12, 1982
Opening Date: Jan 28, 1982
Closing Date: Feb 14, 1982
Total Previews: 19
Total Performances: 21

Category: Play, Tragedy, Revival, Broadway
Setting: Scotland and England.

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by Circle in the Square (under the direction of Theodore Mann and Paul Libin)

Produced by Circle in the Square (Theodore Mann: Artistic Director; Paul Libin: Managing Director)

Written by William Shakespeare; Incidental music by Guy Woolfenden

Directed by Nicol Williamson

Scenic Design by Kenneth Foy; Costume Design by Julie Weiss; Lighting Design by William Armstrong

Company Manager: William Conn

Production Stage Manager: Michael F. Ritchie; Stage Manager: Ted William Sowa

Circle in the Square Public Relations Director: Merle Debuskey; Circle in the Square Press Representative: David Roggensack; Assistant to the Director: Kathryn Placzek; Casting: Lynn Kressel; Advertising: Ash / LeDonne

Opening Night Cast

Rand BridgesPorter
Elaine BromkaFirst Witch
Gentlewoman
Renato CibelliOld Man
Rik ColittiFirst Murderer
John Henry CoxBanquo
a general of the Scottish army
Ray DooleyMalcolm
son of Duncan
Paul FalzoneRoss
a nobleman
Joyce FideorLady Macduff
Bette HenritzeSecond Witch
Mark HerrierDonalbain
son of Duncan
Peter JamesFleance
son of Banquo
Richard JamiesonCaptain
Neal JonesCream-faced Loon
Tara LoewensternThird Witch
Tom McDermottDuncan
King of Scotland
Peter McRobbieSecond Murderer
Doctor
Gregory MortensenAngus
a nobleman
Paul PerriSeyton
an officer attending on Macbeth
Peter PhillipsLennox
a nobleman
Christian SlaterMacduff's Son
J. T. WalshMacduff
a nobleman of Scotland
Andrea WeberLady Macbeth
Nicol WilliamsonMacbeth
a general of the Scottish army
John WojdaMessenger

Understudies: Elaine Bromka (Lady Macduff), Renato Cibelli (Duncan), Rik Colitti (Porter), John Henry Cox (Doctor), Paul Falzone (Banquo), Bette Henritze (Gentlewoman), Mark Herrier (Murderer), Peter James (Macduff's Son), Richard Jamieson (Macbeth, Macduff), Neal Jones (Angus, Donalbain, Fleance), Tara Loewenstern (Lady Macbeth), Tom McDermott (Old Man), Peter McRobbie (Captain), Gregory Mortensen (Seyton), Peter Phillips (Malcolm) and John Wojda (Lennox, Murderer, Ross)

Reviews


New York Daily News: "Macbeth"

Nicol Williamson has brought us a lean, muscular "Macbeth" without a wasted motion. Functioning both as director and star (though not alloweing himself star billing in the alphabetical listing of players), he has given the Circle in the Square, where Shakespeare's shortest work opened last night in an uninterrupted presentation, and the entire current theater scene a shot in the arm.

With scarcely a break between scenes as lights are dimmed on the tessellated playing area to allow for quick exits and occasional changes of furniture before a pool of light introduces the next scene, the bloody and shattering events speed to their conclusion. This is no-nonsense Shakespeare, sparingly costumed (long, loosely-woven woolen pullovers with sword belts are the most distinctive items in the men's apparel, and the women are simply gowned) and plainly but forcefully lighted. Brief passages of organ music punctuate the action at appropriate moments.

Williamson's Macbeth is compelling. One could not have expected it to be less than interesting, but it is much more than that. Once having overcome his initial reluctance and yielded to his wife's proddings to surpass her bloodthirsty ambitions, the lanky, haunted figure is forever restless and increasingly eloquent in his anguish. The final soliloquy, delivered by the ravaged ruler from an elevated throne he mounts in fear and determination, represents a combination of high theatricality and rich expression. It is thrilling, capping an entire performance that is fascinating.

Most of the other male performances are soundly handled, as well, especially J.T. Walsh's down-to-earth and appealing Macduff, John Henry Cox' engaging Banquo, and Ray Dooley's young Malcolm, overcoming his inexperience as a leader to seize the moment. The brief scene between Lady Macduff and her son before their murderers arrive is nicely done by Joyce Fideor and Christian Slater. Banquo's ghost, familiarly an apparition bathed in red or green light, is here just a vacant stool addressed by the horrified Macbeth. And the three witches are vividly set forth, again by the simplest means.

Williamson's difficulties in finding a suitable Lady Macbeth have attracted almost as much attention as Rex Harrison's recent ones in finding a worthy Eliza Doolittle, and the results haven't been any better. Andrea Weber, a very young actress who appeared opposite Williamson in last year's revival of "Inadmissible Evidence," is not untalented, but she's hardly up to this role in which she badgers her lord like a harridan when she isn't behaving like a naughty schoolgirl. It's the production's only serious weakness, and in view of the overall drive, I'm almost ready to overlook it.

Just think: "Macbeth" this week; next week, "Othello." And right here on Broadway.


New York Daily News
01/29/1982

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