The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1940-1950

By Samuel L. Leiter | Go to book overview

M

(1) MACBETH [Dramatic Revival*] A: William Shakespeare; M: Lehman Engel; D: Margaret Webster; S: Samuel Leve; C: Lemuel Ayers; P: Maurice Evans i/a/w John Haggott; T: National Theatre; 11/11/41 (131)

Margaret Webster and Maurice Evans continued their unparalleled series of successful Shakespeare revivals with this distinguished production of the Bard's Scottish play. There had been seven productions of it locally in the 1930s, the last one being the 1937 version by the visiting Barter Theatre of Abingdon, Virginia. The present offering starred Evans as the Thane and Judith Anderson as his wife (a role she already had played in London opposite Laurence Olivier), with Harry Irvine as Duncan and the Doctor, William Nichols as Malcolm, Ernest Graves as Donalbain, Erford Gage as Lennox, John Ireland as the sergeant and first murderer, Staats Cotsworth as Banquo, Herbert Rudley as Macduff, and Viola Keats as Lady Macduff.

The production was deemed the finest presentation of the play most of the reviewers had ever seen. Although outwardly conventional in most respects, it was lauded for the tremendous tension and excitement it evoked and for its successfully haunting creation of the mood of supernatural and mortal skulduggery. Rosamond Gilder ( TAM) thought it "well paced and absorbing throughout," and Richard Watts Jr. ( NYHT), found it remarkable in being able to combine "the melodramatic violence with the brooding eloquence of the play." One of the few critics to turn thumbs down was John Anderson ( NYJA), for whom the work was "dull and listless and wholly lacking in the force needed to drive its lunging melodrama across the stage." (In Don't Put Your Daughter on the Stage, however, Webster expressed her belief that for all its good qualities, the production lacked mystery and that the scenic investiture was "too heavy and too literal.")

Its setting--an indeterminate Scottish historical period--used a forestage and a unit setting that could be varied with the addition of inset pieces. Samuel Leve's designs, however, were not entirely successful, being rather austere, muted, and, in some eyes, cluttered. Webster's direction was particularly brilliant in capturing all the drama of the murder of Duncan and the subsequent alarums surrounding it. Lehman Engels's driving score--played by a live pit orchestra and supplemented by offstage effects--was a major contributant, as were Lemuel Ayers's costumes, woven from cotton but made to look more substantial through a clever trick of weaving.

Because of the production's extremely complex technical requirements, its stage manager referred to it, wrote Webster, as "a whistling bitch." At the New Haven tryout, the stage manager was struck by stage fright, and only the last-minute arrival of another stage manager prevented a disaster. As with most productions of this supposedly haunted play, there were various mishaps. One involved the smoke- pots that Evans had suggested using to help make the witches vanish during their scene on the heath. The flash of light--created by a flashbulb in the smokepot powder--was a substitute for a mechanical disappearing device that had failed to

-383-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Encyclopedia of the New York Stage, 1940-1950
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Note xiv
  • Introduction xv
  • Notes xlvii
  • The New York Stage, 1940-1950 1
  • A 3
  • B 51
  • C 93
  • D 143
  • E 179
  • F 193
  • G 221
  • I 293
  • J 315
  • L 341
  • M 383
  • N 443
  • O 461
  • P 491
  • Q 519
  • R 521
  • S 543
  • T 617
  • U 663
  • V 669
  • W 681
  • Y 711
  • Z 725
  • Appendixes 727
  • Appendix 1Calendar of Productions 729
  • Appendix 2 Play Categories 753
  • Appendix 5 Institutional Theatres 825
  • Appendix 7 Longest-Running Shows of the 1940s 833
  • Appendix 9 Seasonal Statistics 837
  • Appendix 10 Theatres 839
  • Selected Bibliography 843
  • Index of Titles 925
  • About the Author 947
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 954

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.