MCBETH—OVER 2 MILLION SLAIN
nytheatre.com review by John Jordan
What do you get when you mix Ronald
McDonald, Colonel Sanders, The Burger King, The Fry Guys and a couple of
Hamburglers, and then have them speak from Shakespeare’s Macbeth?
Not much, besides a few yuk yuks and a lot of indigestion.
August 15, 2003
Ideal Theatricals and Director Kevin Shinick have a very interesting concept with McBeth—Over 2 Million Slain. That is, set the play in the fast food industry and turn it into a "timely compelling satire." However, the final product’s ingredients contain major inconsistencies. Who exactly is this Macbeth? A farmer? Or Ronald McDonald? Who are The Fry Guys supposed to be? According to the press release, The Fry Guys represent supernatural government forces. I still don’t get that.
There are several different acting styles, genres, and accents utilized on one stage. One minute, the "protagonist" is having a very serious Shakespearean moment; the next, he is fencing The Burger King, or MacDuff if you will, with a Spatula. There is a very unnecessary, unfunny bathroom scene, with a bit of "can you spare a square?" business. Stolen humor does not an original satire make.
There are funny moments, most of which are sight gags unrelated to the Macbeth plot. However, I could not break away from the fact that converging these worlds just does not work. Kevin Shinick plays Macbeth as if he were not part of a satire and not wearing a Ronald McDonald outfit. On its own merit, it’s a good performance—just not a match for its surroundings. Craig Dudley provides the most entertaining performance with his Porter. Dudley also doubles as the Colonel Sanders-like King Duncan, giving an adequate performance, which basically sums up the rest of the cast.
The scenic design by Michael Allen is very simple (four easily-movable stairway cubes), which works extremely well, especially for the FringeNYC. The costumes by Christine Field are simply out of this world, most notably Ronald McDonald and The Burger King, especially The Fry Guys.