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)