Thursday, Jun 19 2008
With coyotes harmonizing alongside the Weird Sisters and Birnam (okay, Topanga) Wood choking the stage, Theatricum Botanicum’s outdoor atmosphere compensates for a serviceable Shakespeare. Directors Ellen Geer and Chad Jason Scheppner marshal an army of creeping witches and sword-slinging soldiers, most of whom pose too much and talk too fast, helmed by a miscast Jim LeFave as a diffident Macbeth whose political ambitions feel akin to Michael Dukakis in a tank. He’s pressed but not pushed by Melora Marshall’s Lady Macbeth, a lithe villainess good at scheming but better when she flings herself to the ground in fits of specious humility — a deft comic touch. Giggles sprang at stabbings and beheadings — out of place in a production that lacks grand horror and outrage, despite strong performances, including Mike Peebler’s Malcolm, Michael McFall’s Banquo and Aaron Hendry as the vengeful but guilt-stricken Macduff. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 29, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 15, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 20, 4 p.m. Starts: June 7. Continues through Sept. 28, 2008

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Reach the writer at anicholson@laweekly.com

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