Macbeth at the MET: An Intimate Look at the Dark Side

Robert Tobin(top) and Rendon Ramsey

Are you a lover of Shakespeare and a fan of intimate theater?  Well the MET Theater in Los Angeles combines both for an evening of dark delight in a contemporary performance of Shakespeare's Macbeth.  This was my first visit to the MET, but I'm sure it won't be my last.  A charmingly intimate alcove, just yards from Santa Monica Boulevard and the 101, I found the MET to be a wonderful surprise.  From the artsy murals covering the building exterior to the carpeted stairway leading to an upper lobby coated with the warmth of fresh burgundy paint, this theater speaks of artists' craft. 

Robert Tobin and Julie Ann Hassett

On this particular evening, the rich red on the surrounding walls called to my mind the bloody business of the bard's Scottish play.  And the symmetry of the patterned glass windows inspired thoughts of things coming full circle, as they often do in theater.  Macbeth is no different, and though we know it is coming, the demise of this power-hungry lord inspires shock and satisfaction simultaneously' shock that he has descended so far into the base abyss of man's blackest nature, but also satisfaction that in the end, what goes around comes around. 

Summer Sinclair and Robert Tobin

The auditorium itself is an extremely intimate setting, with the audience so close that it's practically part of the action.  I loved the immediacy of it.  I felt the fourth wall disappear as I was pulled forcefully into the action taking place just feet away on stage.  The performances were decent, but I most enjoyed a particularly compelling performance by the decidedly evil and manipulative Lady Macbeth, played by Julie Ann Hassett. 

Robert Tobin and Julie Ann

The cast is small, just under a dozen.  Each actor (with the exception of Lady and Lord Macbeth) assumes numerous roles.  Even so, the actors move in and out of character with practiced ease. 

John Rocha(l.) and Michael Hovance

This production and the theater hosting it are well worth the cost and the stressful trip through downtown traffic.  Macbeth runs at the MET from November 12th through December 18th.

John Rocha(l.) and Robert Tobin

Photos by Craig Wadlin and Lea Tobin

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