This peppy permutation on Shakespearean themes, which could be dubbed "Shakespeare in Heat," chronicles the fireworks produced when Macbeth's lust and ambition spill out from a production of the play into the cast's offstage lives. Journeyman actor Max (David Lansbury) and his fiancee, Claudia (Gloria Reuben), win the leads in a highly anticipated production of Macbeth. But when marquee-name William Reeves (Nick Gregory) becomes available, pragmatic director Richard Costanow (John Glover) demotes Max to the role of Macduff. Adding insult to injury, Max has crossed audition paths with William before; Max has always been passed over in favor of William, whose good looks are backed up by his willingness to sleep with anyone who can help him get ahead. Claudia quickly tires of Max's complaining, and resents his unwillingness to let her enjoy her big break. She begins an affair with William, who falls victim to a series of stage accidents that have the rest of the cast gossiping about the legendary curse of the "Scottish Play." Reverting to type, William sleeps with all three of the actresses playing the witches and breaks Claudia's heart. When Max confronts William about his callousness, William remains unapologetic. And though Max can forgive Claudia's indiscretion, the damage to their relationship won't be easily repaired. Still, the show must go on, and William and Max rehearse their characters' swordplay after hours. Might certain elements of Macbeth's bloody legacy spill over into real life and affect opening night?
This intriguing and cleverly conceived independent production is undone by two miscalculations. Its light-hearted treatment of the actors' love triangle can't hold a candle to the unrelenting tragedy of MacBeth, and the personable cast isn't as good with Shakespeare as they with romantic comedy. None the less, this provocative comedy of manners is sunnier than many big-budget Hollywood trifles.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: R
- Review: This peppy permutation on Shakespearean themes, which could be dubbed "Shakespeare in Heat," chronicles the fireworks produced when Macbeth's lust and ambition spill out from a production of the play into the cast's offstage lives. Journeyman actor Max (Da… (more)