‘Macbeth’

(L to R) Chaon Cross (Lady Macbeth) and Ian Merrill Peakes (Macbeth) watched by the Weird Sisters (McKinley carter, Emily Ann Nichelson and Theo Germaine) in 'Macbeth' at Chicago Shakespeare Theater's The Yard. (Photos by Liz Lauren)
(L to R) Chaon Cross (Lady Macbeth) and Ian Merrill Peakes (Macbeth) watched by the Weird Sisters (McKinley Carter, Emily Ann Nichelson and Theo Germaine) in ‘Macbeth’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s The Yard. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

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Ah, the “Scottish play,” in all its gory allegorical ambition, madness and magic, closes the 2017-18 Chicago Shakespeare’s season.

Adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, who did Chicago Shakes’ “Tempest”  production, their “Macbeth” proves a worthy vehicle for ghostly special effects and a bit of audience participation.

Maybe engaging the audience as the drunken porter (Matthew Floyd Miller) does immediately after the blood splotched Macbeth and Lady Macbeth appear following  the murder of Duncan (Christopher Donahue), offers welcome comic relief. This is the first time I have heard audiences laugh and converse with the Porter during “Macbeth.”

But then the play descends into the darkness of never-ending death as Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth finds that one murder has to lead to another and Chaon Cross as Lady Macbeth realizes their murderous ambition ends in madness. Cross’ sleeping-walking  “Out damn spot” scene declares her formidable talent.

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Three shows for the Halloween Season

Chicago area theatres do their part to provide fun or spooky entertainment. A show opening this weekend in north suburban Lake Forest is geared to families. A production out in the western suburbs is best for teens and older but is also interesting by the way it asks the audience to move with each scene through an old estate. Another show that will open in mid October at a Chicago theater, will leave audiences with perhaps a different understanding of a Shakespearean tragedy. Check them out this Halloween season.

"Dr. Seward's Dracula" takes audiences through the Mayslake-Peabody Mansion in a forest preserve. Photo by Jodie Jacobs
“Dr. Seward’s Dracula” takes audiences through the Mayslake-Peabody Mansion in a forest preserve. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

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