Double, double, toil and trouble!
My favorite telescope is Hubble?
If you’re reading this, odds are fair you know the widely-held superstition among theater-folk that Shakespeare’s shortest, spookiest play —”the Scottish play,” as skittish actors say it, the one about the Thane of Cawdor — is bad news. Simply to take part in a production of the show for which the nickname Mackers is not some cutesy appellation but in a fact a curse-repelling euphemism is, some believe, to tempt fate.
But then, in performance of said play is the only way one may speak aloud the dread name MacBeth inside the confines of a theater without inviting some awful calamity.
As with any legend, there are variations on the rules: As I type this at the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent, an actor is trying to tell me the curse applies only to performers who have appeared in the show. Dude, curses are not administered by the IRS! The Weird Sisters are no respecters of fine print! Beware!
Well. You say tah-MAY-toe, I say “the Scottish play.”
What happened at yesterday’s performance of PushPull Theater Company’s Capoeira-enhanced MacBeth was not nearly as bad as, say, a supernaturally-instigated, powerlust-driven assassination spree. But it was still pretty bizarre.
A tardy ticketholder for the 4 p.m. performance at Fort Fringe’s “Redrum” space took extreme exception to being told the show had begun and there was no late seating. As CapFringe honcho Julianne Brienza tells it, the fellow, a man of “45 or 50,” well past the age when such violent excitability might be excused, ran past the venue manger, ripped the door from its hinges, and seated himself for the remainder of the show which, naturally, went on.
Alerted via a text-message, Brienza assembled a posse of five other CapFringe staffers, including vice chair Dan Costello, and confronted the door-ripper as he exited the Redrum. She offered him a deal: If he agreed to pay for the repairs, the matter would end there. No one would call in the law, and the door-ripper would even be welcome at subsequent CapFringe performances and events. The fellow agreed and stood by while festival staff made a quick assessment of the damage, then walked downstairs to the box office and charged the door-ripper’s credit card for a cool $150.
The mysterious door-ripper’s parting words? “He said, ‘This has been an experience,'” reports Brienza. “I feel bad that I never asked him if he liked the show.”