Run Time: Two hours and 54 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission
A three-ring tour de force
A jealous wife sends an unthinkable message to her cheating husband. A lord, urged on by his aggressive lady, murders his king. A mistreated stepdaughter engages with magic for love and happiness. Three plays from two millennia of populist theatre—Greek tragedy, Elizabethan drama and American musical comedy. But you will be astonished by how these separate stories of ambition interweave into one revelatory whole that builds to an unexpected climax. Haunting, funny and filled with surprises, it’s a one-of-a-kind musical adventure you won’t want to miss.
Audience notes: Strobe lights and theatrical mist are used in this production.
Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella weaves together three iconic stories, usually with all happening at the same time. At key points, however, the entire company joins together to give full attention to one story or another.
- Medea, a sorceress from Colchis, used her magic to save the life of Greek hero Jason in his quest for the Golden Fleece, and became his wife. But when he brought her back home to Corinth, Jason abandoned her to pursue the daughter of Corinth’s King Creon. When Creon announces the banishment of Medea and her sons from Corinth, she pleads for one more day to prepare. Medea then plots to kill Creon’s daughter by giving her poisoned wedding gifts, hoping that Creon and Jason will embrace the dying princess and be poisoned as well. She also plans to kill her sons as the ultimate way of hurting Jason. She learns that Creon and his daughter succumbed to the poison. And after agonizing about her ultimate decision, she murders her own sons, then presents them to the grief-stricken Jason.
- After a battle, three witches greet the Scottish thanes (or earls) Macbeth and Banquo with some good news: Each will receive a series of titles, culminating for Macbeth in the crown, and for Banquo in fathering a line of kings. Both are immediately rewarded with the first of the promised titles, spurring Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to hasten their ultimate fate. When King Duncan visits their home, Macbeth murders him in his sleep and assumes the crown. He soon sends murderers after Banquo, whose ghost accusingly haunts Macbeth at a banquet. Mean-while, the rival Lord Macduff and Malcolm, Duncan’s son, join the English in resisting Macbeth's rule.
While Lady Macbeth sleepwalks guiltily, Macbeth consults the witches again: They assure him that no man “born of woman” can beat him and that his castle won’t be taken until Birnam Wood itself moves toward it. When the advancing English take down branches of Birnam Wood and advance with them as shields and then Macduff—whose wife and children Macbeth had cold-bloodedly slaughtered—announces that he was “ripped untimely from my mother’s womb” (by Caesarean section), the jig is up for Macbeth, who dies by Macduff's sword. Malcolm as-sumes his rightful throne.
- The poor, fatherless Cinderella waits on every whim of her unloving stepmother and two stepsisters. When the King and Queen announce a ball to select a bride for the Prince, the stepfamily plots to make the most of it, while Cinderella only dreams “in her own little corner” about a better future. After the stepmother and stepsisters head to the ball, Cinderella’s dreams turn to wishes, and her Fairy Godmother arrives to make the impossible come true: A pumpkin becomes a coach, kitchen mice become horses and Cinderella is draped in a gorgeous gown. The God-mother warns that the spell ends at midnight.
At the ball, the Prince is bored, not least by the attentions of the stepsisters, until the beautiful Cinderella arrives. He monopolizes her on the dance floor, and the two fall in love. Walking with the Prince in a garden, she nearly misses the midnight deadline. She rushes off, leaving a glass slipper behind. The Prince searches the entire king-dom for a woman to fit the slipper but finds no one until he discovers Cinderella.
The way these three disparate stories of ambition, jealousy and royalty are interwoven is the mystery and magic of M/M/C.