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Macbeth in brief

One of the many strengths of Shakespeare's "Macbeth," from the perspective of audiences as well as directors, lies in its brevity. The folks at the New Phoenix Theatre (95 Johnson Park) know this well. The company has staged an even-briefer-than-usual production of the show, which opened Thursday. Director Kelli Bocock-Natale, fresh from directing the Red Thread Theatre's debut production "Skirmishes," has stripped down Shakespeare's tragedy to its bare and bloody essence. What's left after Bocock-Natale's hacking, the company says, is "a version that stresses the physicality and versatility of her company and allows the power-driven machine of ambition, murder and resistance to work to its foregone but thrilling climax."

The production stars Kate LoConti as the mad, power-hungry Lady Macbeth and Brian Riggs as her somewhat hapless husband. Eric Rawski, John Kreuzer, Caitlin Coleman, Darryl Hart, Adam Rath and Marie Costa round out the cast that's sure to provide a unique take on the classic and oft-performed tale.

Tickets to the show are $20, or $15 for students, seniors and members of the theater industry. For more information, call 853-1334 or visit www.newphoenixtheatre.com.

-- Colin Dabkowski