500 Clown Macbeth | Comedy Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

500 Clown Macbeth 

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The world has changed since 2000, the year this hilarious physical-theater take on Shakespeare's Macbeth debuted. Today the Bush administration's disastrous decision to invade Iraq seems more disastrous than ever--and that bloody context gives 500 Clown's revival, now at Steppenwolf as part of its Visiting Company Initiative, a dark, bitter edge. At the same time, heightened awareness of the danger of combining ambition and ineptitude only underlines the comedy as three clowns compete to play Macbeth, clambering and falling over an 11-foot scaffold in their efforts to snatch a crown dangling from the flies like a cheesy disco ball. Molly Brennan, Adrian Danzig, and Paul Kalina, aided by director Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, have clearly honed every glance and pratfall over the years. Running in repertory with 500 Clown Frankenstein, also very funny but to my taste a little too sadistic. a Through 7/28: see chicagoreader.com for complete schedule. 6/23-6/24: Sat 9 PM, Sun 3 PM, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, upstairs theater, 1650 N. Halsted, 312-335-1650, $30, $50 for any two shows.


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