(Robert Hurwitt’s review appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, 8/23.)

Macbeth: Tragedy. By William Shakespeare. Directed by Joel Sass. Through Sept. 12. California Shakespeare Theater, Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. Two hours, 30 minutes. $34-$70. (510) 548-9666. www.calshakes.org.

The California Shakespeare Theater offering that opened Saturday is a "Macbeth" for a nation weary of a decade at war.

The velocity of Joel Sass' "Macbeth" can be overpowering. The fierce bond between Jud Williford and Stacy Ross as its fabled title couple is no less intense than the unsettling impact of its modern medical and interrogation techniques. If Sass' adaptation and staging overreach at times, and undercut the dramatic impact of its climax, that's the price paid for a bracing and original new look at this classic. Forget the weather. The biting cold that enveloped the Bruns Amphitheater on Saturday was no more chilling than much of the action onstage.

via www.sfgate.com

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