The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Macbeth vs. Macduff: Kitchen Dog releases hellhounds

Kitchen Dog Theater company member Christina Vela and co-artistic director Christopher Carlos play Lady and Lord Macbeth in the current production of Shakespeare’s infamous tragedy, “Macbeth,” on stage through March 5.
MATT MROZEK/Kitchen Dog Theater
Kitchen Dog Theater company member Christina Vela and co-artistic director Christopher Carlos play Lady and Lord Macbeth in the current production of Shakespeare’s infamous tragedy, “Macbeth,” on stage through March 5.

Kitchen Dog Theater company member Christina Vela and co-artistic director Christopher Carlos play Lady and Lord Macbeth in the current production of Shakespeare’s infamous tragedy, “Macbeth,” on stage through March 5. ( MATT MROZEK/Kitchen Dog Theater)

Walking into the Heldt/Hall at Kitchen Dog Theater when the house opens, you might think that the set for “Macbeth” isn’t finished. And when the cast of the show walks on stage during the recorded curtain speech, high-fiving each other and doing pull-ups on the iron bars that comprise the outskirts of the set, a potently creepy mood is set – and it won’t go away the entire show.

Shakespeare’s infamous Scottish play has taken over Kitchen Dog Theater under the astute direction of Matthew Gray, with a cast of Dallas all-stars.

At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a loyal general alongside Banquo, who join forces to defeat two separate invading armies. After which, Macbeth receives a prophesy from three witches (yes, the “double, double toil and trouble” witches) that he will become the Thane of Cawdor.

He does, in fact, receive this position, which places him and the strong-willed Lady Macbeth on the power-hungry path that eventually leads him to murder the Scottish King Duncan.

The cast of KDT’s production is small, with only eight actors playing countless parts. Rather than limiting the production, the small costume changes that distinguish the different characters highlight the betrayal that blurs the mental state of the characters themselves.

These eight actors play nearly 20 characters and represent some of Dallas’ best. Christopher Carlos plays Lord Macbeth with such control that his quiet rage seamlessly escalates into insanity.

The versatile Christina Vela takes on one of the more difficult female characters with a purposeful mania that contributes a profundity to the overall intensity of the play.

Cameron Cobb conquers the role of Macduff, the Scottish nobleman whom the witches warn Macbeth to fear. There is no real weak link in this show with Adrian Churchill, Rhonda Boutte, Jenny Ledel, Max Hartman and Drew Wall compromising the rest of the cast.

The minimalist militarism interpretation combined with a 90-minute runtime makes this a high-speed, powerful production that doesn’t let the audience look away or stop to catch a breath. In fact, the cast never really leaves the stage, as they are either on stage watching the action or waiting in the eaves for their next entrance.

Every aspect of this show seems to contribute to the overall feel of it, which will leave you shaken up and perhaps even a little disturbed – precisely what a good production of this play should do, after all superstitious thespians consider this one of the most unlucky plays to produce.

This show should be on your ‘can’t miss’ list, even if you don’t like Shakespeare – though you might brush up on the Sparknotes summary before you arrive at the theater.

Kitchen Dog Theater is located in the Mckinney Avenue Contemporary in Uptown theater. With so many restaurants in walking distance and an intriguing exhibit called “Beasts and Bunnies” currently on display, this is the perfect way to spend an evening with a date or a group of friends.

“Macbeth” runs through March 5, Thursday through Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with some Wednesday performances. Tickets range from $15 to $25, with pay what you can tickets for the first 25 people on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

For more information visit kitchendogtheater.org.

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