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Thoughts from Dr. Joe: LCHS version of 'Macbeth' is exuberating show

April 02, 2014|By Joe Puglia

I’m no longer writing the Great American Novel. It’s done! I’m now in the laborious editing process. So the other day while I was reading between the lines, a bunch of excited La Cañada High School kids stormed into Starbucks partying like it’s 1999. Their antics were not merely those of teens frolicking on a midday break. They were exuberant!

One of the boys, Elias Defaria, gave me an encouraging hello. It was apparent that something special had transpired causing their euphoria. I was curious.

“What’s up, Elias?”

He explained that they were the cast of LCHS production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

“You should come,” Elias exclaimed.

“It’s tonight,” Garret Schlundt announced.

“I’ll be there,” I said.

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Poet Anne Sexton said, “Actors have no moderation, nor do poets, just exuberance!”

When I settled in at the La Cañada Playhouse on the LCHS campus I appreciated the simplicity of set designer David Miller’s configuration. “Macbeth,” Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, is a dark play filled with intrigue, deceit, murder, blood and the surreal intertwined around evil, power and ambition. A simple set complemented the complicated plot whereby corrosive psychological manipulation becomes the method to fulfill ambition.

Frankly, I didn’t know what to expect. A Shakespearean production is a complicated undertaking even for the most experienced thespians. The curtain opened and there stood the three witches, played by Josie Kamida, Eloise Dimase-Nordling and Laura Green. Their sinister antics transformed my suspecting nature and I was hurled into the macabre delirium of Macbeth, a thug played by Jacob Boham. I’ve seen “Macbeth” numerous times but these actors held me spellbound.

The witches predict Macbeth will be king. Problem! What to do with King Duncan (played by Charlie Depew). With encouragement from Lady Macbeth, played by Elle Kenwood, Macbeth kills the king to secure the kingship. “Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him,” said Lady Macbeth. I couldn’t fathom that Jacob Bonham — the little kid I used to supervise at La Cañada Elementary School’s recess — was capable of murdering Charlie!

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