It’s all about the witches in Lincoln Center Theater’s new revival of Macbeth. The Weird Sisters — the craggy all-male trio of Malcolm Gets, John Glover, and Byron Jennings — pull all the strings, popping up in minor roles and causing toil and trouble at every turn. Head witch Hecate (a fabulous Francesca Faridany) — styled as some brilliantly bizarre cross between Medusa and Cruella de Vil — even gets high with Macbeth (Ethan Hawke). When you’re smoking funny stuff with a bunch of ”secret black and midnight hags,” you know you’re in too deep.
Though his scruffy, still-boyish looks suggest the prototypical Hamlet, Hawke makes a very convincing (and wonderfully sleazy) Scottish king. And as Macbeth gains power, so does the actor. As Lady Macbeth, the sleepwalking, hand-washing, regicide-plotting woman behind the man, English actress Anne-Marie Duff maintains a delicate balance between imperious and docile, sexy and demoralizing.
But director Jack O’Brien’s stylish production — see Catherine Zuber’s uber-trendy military-chic costumes — practically comes to a grinding halt when the pious Macduff (Graceland’s Daniel Sunjata) and heir-to-the-throne Malcolm (Jonny Orsini) begin plotting their takedown of Macbeth. Sunjata overdoes every line he speaks, and Orsini is overwhelmed by the speech. The good news: After that slog of a scene comes Duff’s ”out, damned spot” moment — a spellbinding slice in an evening that is less than spellbinding otherwise. B?
(Tickets: Telecharge.com or 800-432-7250)