“MacDeth” is a clever and hilarious Monty Pythonesq send up of The Great Bard’s classic tale of “MacBeth”. The script, written by Ryan J-W Smith in rhyming Shakespearean-style verse, is nothing short of brilliant. Touching here and there on progressive political themes and current events, MacDeth is a fast moving, outrageous production delivered by a stellar cast of young, gifted actors.
Writer and director Smith’s turn as MacDeth exhibits an obviously accomplished actor of impeccable comedic timing and presence, boldly leading his ensemble to the promised land – a full house and standing ovation. Actress Helena Grace Donald’s Lady MacDeth is suitably strong and conniving, utilizing her pretty and expressive face to deliver just the right amount of disdain of her husband’s weak and meager ambition.
Actor Lance Frantzich – on loan from Tim Robbins’ Actors’ Gang troupe – steals the show as The Witch, a larger-than-life character based on the British panto tradition of “The Dame”, a personality that interacts directly with the audience. As might be expected in a Hollywood theater on Santa Monica Blvd., Smith, himself a Brit, turns the tradition upside down, replacing the conventional concept of an overweight, middle-aged actor in drag in favor of a young, stylish hipsterish Witch and Frantzich delivers “sexy” and “magic” in spades.
Actor Jason Linforth, as Banquo, anchors many of the scenes with confidence and capability, while actor Ryan Stiffelman shape-shifts humorously and effortlessly as Duncan and McBuff.
Actresses Faith Kearns, in the role of the pants-wearing character not-so-coincidentally named “Clinton”, along with actress Liya Shaydarova as MacDeth’s mistress Ross are called on to deliver much of the biting socio-political commentary. This they do lightly and seamlessly, assuring that the drama never gets bogged down by excessive politics.
As any great farcical parody should, Smith serves out sex by the cauldron-full. Thankfully, Smith, himself half naked for most of the play, handpicked an ensemble that isn’t just exceptionally talented, but also extremely easy on the eyes.