Even though I only got to see about one-third of Genesius Guild’s “Macbeth” on Sunday night — steady streams of lightning surrounding Lincoln Park forced a cancellation at 9 p.m. — I still walked away impressed with what I saw.
Michael King’s direction and some technical mastery were very out-of-the-box, especially by Genesius’ standards of keeping all the action on the park’s Classic Theatre stage.
That begins right at the top, with several dozen actors in swordplay among the trees in the park on the audience’s right, with the action spilling over onto the stage.
It continues with Andy Shearouse’s lighting design, going far more complex than other productions with extra wattage and tones of pinks and purples that add to the storytelling.
Even the sound got an upgrade, thanks to designer Todd Schwartz, with the voices of witches Cait Bodenbender, Stephanie Moeller and Angela Rathman setting the stage for their appearance in a menacing, rowdy/raunchy carnival-freak sort of vibe.
Schwartz plays the title role, and while neither he nor Sarah Ade Wallace as Lady Macbeth immediately look like what we may expect in the title roles, those of us on Sunday night saw the seeds of what was to become of their characters.
With a beard and a ponytail, Schwartz plays more of an adventurous Macbeth, and makes for a contentious couple with Wallace, who shows more charm than duplicity early on in the play. Wallace did, on Sunday night, nicely pitch a fit of anger so her peak vocal moments came at the same time as a low-flying airplane hovered above the park.
Schwartz, as well as Jason Dlouhy as Banquo, showed some of the more ingenious ideas in costumer Ellen Dixon’s work: Black, leather-looking outfits that appeared like a combination of “The Matrix” and a Japanese kimono.
Comically, I was glad to see Jake Walker take control of the stage for a few minutes as the drunken Porter, complete with a deeper-than-Shrek Scottish brogue.
This was my eighth summer of reviewing Genesius Guild at Lincoln Park, and the first time I’ve been to a show that’s been halted — just part of the hazards of doing outdoor theater.
If what we saw Sunday was an appetizer for the main course, it must have turned out to be quite a banquet.