published Friday, April 20th, 2012

Chattanooga Theatre Centre offering a wickedly wonderful new production

Debbie Hale

The creative genius of Scott Dunlap strikes again as the MainStage of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre debuted "Mr. and Mrs. M, a Fantasia on Shakespeare's Macbeth."

Using an old story about a previous theater on the site of the current CTC, Dunlap recreates a modern version of the Shakespearean tragedy while directing the cast of 13. He also designed the set, costumes, lighting and sound. The entire cast reflects a true understanding of the difficult task of presenting the Bard's dialogue.

Dunlap cast two outstanding thespians in lead roles with Patrick Sweetman and Kim Jackson playing Mr. and Mrs. M. Jackson's haunting performance is extremely believable with both words and actions stealing the show. Her expressive eyes create an Eve-like persuasion from the moment she steps on stage until her predestined finale. She is superb in the demanding role of villainess.

Sweetman's interpretation of Mr. M shows strength and power in a role demanding both as the ambitious character himself rises and falls emotionally and physically. Sweetman's protagonist captures the madness of this fallen man in an unforgettable performance.

Stefanie Oppenheimer, Sonia Rippe and Jordan Coleman are One, Two and Three, respectively, and redefine the notion of apparitions. These witchy visions thread themselves through the story with eerie consequence.

Other members of the talented cast include Nathaniel Garth as Mr. R; Jim Eernisse as Mr. D; Lebron Lackey as Prince; Cannon Hunt as Master F; and Judy LaMance, who delivers a most scary, blood-curdling scream as Mrs. H.

Also giving strong performances are Jack Harkleroad as Trusting King Duncan; Casey Jackson as Mr. B or Friend Banquo; and Shanelle Newton as Mrs. D, the doomed young mother. Newton also is choreographer.

The choreography is impressive during dance scenes and the slow-motion visions of Mr. M.

The CTC MainStage production of "Mr. and Mrs. M" is one of the most creative twists Chattanooga audiences will witness. The music of the '40s awakens the back story of the theater and the tragedy of Macbeth as the two merge to create spooky imaginations.

"Mr. and Mrs. M" runs Thursdays-Sundays through April 29. Call 267-8534 for ticket informtion.

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