Shakespeare Dallas’ (Accidental) Disaster

When presented with a seemingly insurmountable question about “What went wrong?,” the Chernobyl disaster, for example, needs a few decades and an HBO budget to create a thorough and compelling piece of work that shows the vast levels of hubris that pervade the human psyche in order to understand how such gross mistakes are made. When limited by a word count and deadline (not to mention the psychological discomfort akin to being forced to recount in excruciating detail the six-course meal one had just before a 48-hour spell of severe food poisoning), the following will have to suffice.

Shakespeare Dallas’ production of “Macbeth” has the hallmarks of a nuclear meltdown in a totalitarian state. Let us begin with the marketing. Putting “their best face forward,” Nicole Berastequi (starring as Lady Macbeth) is featured prominently. Considering she was the only actor able to shine in this show it’s rather fitting.

Putting the star of the show (Timothy Thomas Brown as Macbeth) in an all black silhouette with a knife behind her is, if the marketing department wasn’t fully aware of how the production was going in the lead up, a perfectly Freudian slip and/or an admirable close reading of the play. As readers will remember, Macbeth is lauded in Act 1.2 for his prowess in battle, having in the course of a sword fight with the rebel Macdonwald “unseam’d him from the nave to the chaps,” literally meaning cutting him open from the navel to the jaw. Brown, demonstrating a range last seen in some of Maroon 5’s early work, murdered the play as efficiently as Macbeth’s sword slayed the rebel.

That is assuming the play had a chance of living in the first place. Director Trampas Thompson’s concept seems as well thought out as the Soviet Yak-38, creating an alternate reality where Google Glass is a thing and the weird sisters are Peruvian Brujas. One assumes readers are as familiar with Google Glass and Brujas as they are with failed Soviet fighter jets. Rightly, this seems as compelling to me as it might to you. To stay on point however, the gimmicks and tech inside jokes abound and negate any dramatic tension that might have accidentally sprung forth, resulting in an incredibly boring and lifeless play.

Now, I know you’re thinking that this could work if one would make the final battle use some sort of virtual reality laser tag. Well sir, I have good news for you (and you alone), there will be vast amounts of seating available to you to enjoy the remainder of this show which runs at Samuel-Grand Amphitheatre 6200 E. Grand Ave. through Saturday, Sept. 28, and then move to The Sound at Cypress Waters at 9111 Cypress Waters Blvd in Coppell from Thursday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 13.

[ this review originally appeared at Katy Trail Weekly]

Originally published at on September 28, 2019.



Above average dancer.

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