Daniel Craig’s ‘Macbeth’ Is a Modern, Bloody Broadway Puzzle, With Soup on the Side squib

Joan Marcus

Is this Macbeth, or a test kitchen for Hale and Hearty?

A mainly bare stage greets the audience at Macbeth on Broadway (Longacre Theatre, booking to July 10). People—actors we guess, but who knows, it’s all very loosey-goosey—are gathering in front of us, smiling, milling about (the company now back together after COVID forced the cancelation of performances). The lady next to this critic enjoyed the sounds of NPR drifting over us. There are racks of lights, design implements and cartons on the side of the stage (the spare, contemporary design is by Christine Jones), and we see some actors standing, stirring and cooking soup or stew at the front of the stage. It smells delicious.

If these are witches, the modern staging and dress and their modish cooking station suggest Dunsinane has been made over by ABC Carpet and Home; these potions do not smell most foul. The witty actor Michael Patrick Thornton begins telling us some Macbeth back story in a laconic way, mixing in some anecdotes about lockdown and the pandemic. He also tempts fate, with a bored rolling of his eyes, by naming the play—superstition suggests that by naming Macbeth in a theater curses the production.

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