(Photo: Johannes Markus)
There’s something awkward about referring to the name of American Century Theater’s latest production, Voodoo Macbeth. The first half of the title is perfectly fine; however the second half is a word that is taboo to many theater people. Common theater superstition dictates that one should avoid referring to the title of “The Scottish Play” or else disaster will strike. I find it weird to think that the superstition can simply be remedied by adding another word to the title.
Or maybe I’m not supposed to say Voodoo Macbeth either and I’ve cursed myself for eternity.
Photo by Dennis Deloria
Cartoonist Jules Feiffer doesn’t ink funnies. Instead he speaks his mind through art, be it what a woman thinks or how the nation elects a President. So when you consider the dangerous world of New York City depicted in American Century Theatre’s “Little Murders“, you have to realize that a premise that is a tad over-the-top is simply part of his craft as a cartoonist. The environment is exaggerated because he wants to make a point about forces he thought was creating a turning point in America at the time.
The play takes place in 1966 New York where Fiffer takes liberty in highlighting the rise of urban violence of the late 60′s, a wave he observed in the wake of the assassination of JFK. Fiffer and director Ellen Dempsey satirically illustrate the city falling deeper and deeper into a state of lawlessness and chaos. One cannot venture outside his home without getting mugged, one cannot walk down the street without getting shot at. Gunshots become a regular cue throughout the show, with many shots nearly missing members of the cast.