Directed and Adapted by Anaїs Koivisto
Produced by Everyday Inferno
Part of the 2014 Frigid New York Festival
Off Off Broadway, New Play
Ran through 3.8.14
The Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Street
by Greg Solomon on 3.9.14
Sam Bruce, Kathryn Connors, Ali Stoner in Something Wicked. Photo by acedarter.imagekind.com.
BOTTOM LINE: Part adaptation of Macbeth, part character study of the Lady herself, and part musing on how women are represented in classic literature in general.
Something Wicked picks up at the moment of Lady Macbeth’s demise. Not really a second chapter but more of a re-interpretation of the original work, Lady Macbeth (Kathryn Connors) essentially relives all of her sequences from the play as well as some she did not partake in but contributed to. This is done with cyclic repetitions of the text spoken by two other actresses portraying the lady in her various incarnations as well as Lady Macduff and her son. Likewise, three actors portray the different views of Macbeth, Banquo, Duncan and Macduff. All the while the action is framed by the lady’s own trio of witches, no doubt conjured in her mind from the descriptions of her husband.
I’m sure lovers of Macbeth will absolutely eat up the renditions of the scenes we know so well. Playwright and director Anaїs Koivisto also incorporates music, dance, and a pretty exquisite albeit short sequence in which various caricatures of literati attempt to reduce Lady Macbeth to a woman embittered by her barrenness, ignoring and talking over the one female among them. The framework of emotional distance given by some of these etudes at times seemed at odds with the more ethereal quality of the pivotal moments in Lady Macbeth’s life portrayed in triptych.
But in the end, even though I may have preferred more of a narrative journey in the hereafter, the talented cast somehow makes it all work. Ali Stoner gives a particularly engaging performance, infusing her scenes with the perfect mix of gravitas and insanity.
(Something Wicked played at the Kraine Theater, 85 East 4th Street, through March 8, 2014. Tickets were $16. For more information about the Frigid Festival visit frigidnewyork.info. For more information about Everyday Inferno visit everydayinferno.com.)