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January 24, 2005 // UPDATED 1:51 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Thoroughly Modern 'Macbeth'

The disclaimer on this Shakespearean revival from the Artists' Shakespeare Festival is "This show contains violence and nudity and therefore is recommended for mature audiences only." That's right. If this were a movie, it'd be rated "R" even though Ol' Will is a staple of academia. (No wonder he's so popular.)

While he's incalculably idolized in English classrooms and in the hearts of romantics everywhere, he'd probably be churning out action-packed Hollywood blockbusters if he were alive and writing today. You know, the kind of flicks that underage kids would try to sneak into; big-name celebrities would be said to be "selling out" when they starred in them.

Maybe the dramatist was simply ahead of his time. Take "Macbeth": It's packed with witch prophecies, graphic fight scenes, murder plots, royal power plays and ghosts - all of that crowd-pleasing, intriguing stuff.

But this updated adaptation digs deep on the very modern subjects of appearances, reality and power trips - themes vividly evoking current politics (I've eavesdropped on several lunchtime conversations covering all three topics).

M, W-Su Jan. 24, 26-30; Monday, Wednesday-Saturday, 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Loring Playhouse, 1635 Hennepin Ave. S. $18-$20. 486-5757.

I feel inferior to Matt Weinhold

Comic Matt Weinhold is an excellent conversationalist. He can talk about the micro-absurd behavior of Trekkies or his zillions of projects, including co-authoring a British TV pilot, the Comedy Central series "Frank Leaves for the Orient" and the film "The Journeyman Project II," among others.

Surely, Weinhold is a familiar face. Peruse his rsum and you'll find numerous coveted spots on major networks such as NBC, Fox, VH1, FX, Game Show Network and MTV.

Just reading it is enough to inspire just a teeny bit of achievement guilt. He's obviously accomplished a lot. It makes you, um, I mean me, wonder what have I done? How did I whittle away my hours while Weinhold accepted awards at the Seattle and San Francisco Comedy Competitions?

A seasoned writer, filmmaker, actor and comedian, the industrious Weinhold is praised for his originality and multiplicity.

Tu-Th Jan. 25-29, 8 p.m. Acme Comedy Company, 708 N. 1st St. $13-$25. 338-6393, www.acmecomedycompany.com.

Anna Pratt can be reached at annapratt@artlover.com.