Macbeth in Stride doesn’t just flip the script we have been taught generation after generation. Macbeth in Stride smacks you upside the head causing you to open your eyes a little wider and shakes the cobwebs from your brain. We are so busy looking up trying to figure out how to break the glass ceiling, but that is just a distraction from the real task at hand. What the entire cast of Macbeth in Stride has you realize is that we should be dismantling the whole building and creating a better foundation instead. With some rock ‘n roll music, fab dance moves and a few carefully crafted questions MacBeth in Stride has us rethinking life way beyond Shakespeare’s soliloquies.
The show begins with the trio of Shakespeare’s witches but they are no ordinary typecast white Shakespearean witches. These are some fierce sisters who catch your attention before a first word is spoken or note sung. They help narrate the story and guide us along. If you have a chance to brush up on your Macbeth knowledge before the show it definitely helps, but if you don’t these three witches along with the band have you covered with a quick Cliff Notes recap mid-performance.
Despite a few mic issues on opening night where we lost a little of Whitney White’s voice, the music and singing was powerful and beautiful. What we never lost was Whitney White’s figurative voice as she not only belted out the songs, coaxed out sweet ballads, and led knee bouncing hymns, but she created this brilliant work. Well not the Shakespeare part, but the real meat and bones of this look at Macbeth reviewed, revised, and redefined.
Who knew Shakespeare ‘s iambic pentameter could mesh so well with some church hymn vibes. At moments I was brought back to the time I had the privilege of going to church in Harlem. In Shakespeare for the most part white man is g-d, in fact white man is everything, every role, every perspective, every focus and every point of reference. In Macbeth in Stride Woman is put front and center and even with a hot young white thing, Charlie Thurston, playing Man, from the get go of this show, Woman stands her ground demanding more time and space, or perhaps all the time and space. All I can say to that is Hallelujah and Amen and I’m not usually a religious person, but times have to change and we need a reset and this is how it is done. The three witches/sisters, Woman and Man brought us to church. Not White church: Black church which is where so often the heart and soul of Black life has lived, but it’s time for those church doors to open so that Black Lives matter and take up space in every part of our world. This is just a start and a powerful, bright and entertaining one at that.
Please note that the American Repertory Theatre has a very special performance scheduled tonight. It is the Black Out Performance: Friday, October 29 at 7:30PM. This for an all Black audience to be able to experience the show in a powerful way together.
Tickets from $25 are available here. Discounts are available to students and ticket-buyers under age 25, Blue Star families, EBT card holders, seniors, Harvard faculty and staff, and others.
More information here.
Audience, artist, and staff safety is A.R.T.’s top priority. The theater is taking many steps to protect against COVID-19. Enhanced ventilation, universal masking, vaccination, and testing are critical cornerstones of our multi-layered mitigation efforts that prioritize the safety of our community. Visit A.R.T.’s website for a full list of current ticketing and attendance protocols and procedures.