Skepticism

Macbeth Directed by Teller and Aaron Posner!

Elles has been hassling me recently—okay, she sent two messages and asked very nicely!—about posting to Teen Skepchick, and who am I to refuse a request? I posted recently about this at my blog (I don’t do comments, but @kf me on Twitter!), but I’m not a fan of cross-posting. As a literature major, I write quite a bit, so it feels like I’m cheating myself out of good, clean practice!

Anyway, the Folger DVD Edition of Macbeth directed by Teller and Aaron Posner came out a bit over a month ago, and it’s utterly fantastic. Since I was a kid, I’ve been watching Penn & Teller on TV—Home Improvement, Sabrina, Dharma & Greg*, Fear Factor, The Drew Carey Show, House of Mouse—and Penn Radio basically threw me into the whole skeptic movement (snaps for Phil Plait vs. Joe Rogan). Besides, they built up my appreciation for magic as an art form, more than cheesy party tricks, and I have a bit—understatement of the year?—of a fangirl moment whenever I run into one of Teller’s talks online. A part of me wishes that he’d continued teaching high school.

So, naturally, when Amazon started taking preorders for the DVD, I was one of the first people on the list. Again, it’s directed by Teller and Aaron Posner, a co-founder of the Arden Theatre Company, and Matt Holtzclaw consulted, so I was absolutely giddy. How could I not love it?!

Watching the production fulfilled every expectation that I had. Aside from being a perfect collision of two of my favorite things—and of Teller’s, I presume—it was completely well done. Generally, combining magic with music or dramatic theatre results in something like Cirque du Soleil (cough Criss Angel cough) so it was fantastic to see someone do it right. Macbeth is still very confrontational, but only because the play requires it to be. The atmosphere that Teller and Posner create is generated from the text itself, although they were clearly inspired by classic horror films. The entire production is bloody, but full of gore with a purpose. Magic isn’t used to create the spectacle; the spectacle justifies the use of magic. Everyone must see this production!

*Starred because it’s my absolute favorite scene in all of Dharma & Greg. Although, I find it somewhat disturbing that this was one of my favorite shows in elementary school.

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