Jun 07, 2013 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
A dark cave. In the middle, a caldron boiling. Thunder.
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble
That Bill Shakespeare certainly had a way with words!
The Liverpool Is The Place Committee apparently has a soft spot for The Bard. The committee, which brings you two dozen free concerts every summer at Johnson Park, is trying something new this year.
At 7 p.m. on Fathers’ Day, Sunday, June 16, LITP has engaged Syracuse’s Redhouse Arts Center to present a one-hour adapted version of Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Macbeth,” at Johnson Park. The performance is designed for all ages, and admission is free.
Considered one of Shakespeare’s darkest tragedies, “Macbeth” was originally staged circa 1607 in London. Set in Scotland, the action boils over with blood and betrayal as Lord Macbeth kills his king to fulfill his own lust for power. Wracked with guilt, Lady Macbeth leads her lord down a maelstrom of madness and death.
The Redhouse adaptation is a 60-minute show featuring six performers playing all the roles, blending inventive physicality, evocative design and original text to tell the tale of greed and ambition. Set in a 20th-century militaristic society, this accessible version will appeal to audiences new to “Macbeth” as well as those well-acquainted with the renowned tragedy.
The cast features Redhouse regulars Laura Austin as Lady Macbeth and John Bixler as Macbeth, along with Brian Detlefs and Allie Villa. New York City actor Will Graziano and local newcomer Tyler Spicer complete the cast. The show is directed and adapted by Stephen Svoboda, who retains his ties to the Adirondack Lakes Summer Theatre Festival, which supports the Redhouse’s community outreach programs.
“Macbeth” is being sponsored here in Liverpool by the White Water Pub, 110 S. Willow St., at by the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild, which will stage its summer muisical, “The Wizard of Oz,” July 25 through Aug. 4, at the Presbyterian Education Center in B’ville.
Laura Austin, who will portray Lady Macbeth here, is best known locally as the Redhouse’s artistic director, but she’s also an experienced professional actress with a long list of impressive credits.
In the early 1990s, her acting career blossomed in Los Angeles as she won choice roles on popular television shows such as “21 Jump Street,” “Raising Miranda” and “L.A. Law.”
In fact, Austin appeared on two episodes of “21 Jump Street,” alongside actors Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, now two of Hollywood’s biggest box-office draws. One of her favorite TV roles was her turn as an insane French maid on the HBO comedy series “Dream On.”
After getting married and starting a family, Austin moved to Skaneateles. In August 2001, she and her husband, Dr. Scott Allyn, started the Redhouse, a multi-faceted arts center in downtown Syracuse.
Over the past four seasons, Austin oversaw the production of 16 plays at Redhouse in which her responsibilities spanned selecting, casting, commissioning, directing, acting, promoting and fundraising. Whew !
I’ve seen her in several Redhouse shows, notably its first-ever, “Proof,” in which she brilliantly portrayed the feisty and flawed daughter of a once-brilliant mathematician going mad. “She’s everything I like in a role,” Austin told me at the time. “She’s strong, she’s funny, she’s dysfunctional.”
She could practically say the same thing about Lady Macbeth…maybe not so funny…
I bumped into our old buddy, Jim Durkin, at the ballpark last month. What’s the name of that place now? Well it was recently renamed NBT Bank Stadium, but that’s an annoyingly redundant moniker because NBT stands for Norwich Bank & Trust so the ballpark is actually Norwich Bank & Trust Bank Stadium…duh!
Anyhow, Durkin’s now semi-retired and running casino bus-tours. He’s taking some folks to an out-of-state resort on June 25. For info, call Durkin Excursions at 668-8418, or email Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Syracuse Chiefs all-time all-star vendor, Jim used to live in Liverpool but now he calls Pennellville home.