Even though Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare’s shortest plays, Main Street Theater will be putting on an 80-minute version with no intermission courtesy of visiting director and actor Guy Roberts in a co-production with the Prague Shakespeare Company. “It really streamlines the play and focuses on the story of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, so for example Lady Macduff is cut entirely. They’re still killed, but you hear about it offstage,” says Roberts, whose previous visits to Houston with Henry V and Richard III have been to great acclaim.

“Once the play starts, we hopefully get the audience on this whirlwind of the action because it’s kind of what happens to Macbeth. The play begins and once those witches speak that prophecy, events just tumble forth almost seemingly out of control. Before we know what’s happened, Lady Macbeth is dead and Macbeth is fighting for the crown.”

And speaking of witches, yes, they get to say, “Double, double toil and trouble,” and now there’s nine of them instead of three. “The witches have a much larger role because they also double as the servants in the household, so they’re always there listening kind of in the background,” Roberts says. “Every actor is onstage the entire show until you die. Once you die, you get to leave the stage,” Roberts says.

Roberts plays the title role, with Jessica Boone playing his Lady Macbeth. At three performances, actors David Wald and Bree Welch will play the leads.

7:30 p.m. February 27, March 3 and 6, 8 p.m. February 28, March 1, 7 and 8, and 3 p.m. March 2 and March 9. Alternative cast (Wald and Welch) 5 p.m. March 1 and 7:30 p.m. March 5 and 9. Through March 9. Main Street Theater, Rice Village, 2540 Times Boulevard. For information, call 713-524-6706 or visit $20 to $39.
Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 1, 5 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Mon., March 3, 7:30 p.m.; Wed., March 5, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 27. Continues through March 9, 2014

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