“When shall we three meet again?” goes the opening scene of Shakespeare's Macbeth. “In thunder, lightning, or in rain?”
The Classical Theatre of Harlem got a heavy dose of all three July 1, according to dnainfo, threatening to waterlog their stage in Manhattan's Marcus Garvey Park and nearly sinking their planned production of the so-called “The Scottish Play,” which begins previews July 8 and opens July 10, starring Ty Jones and Roslyn Ruff as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Rooftop drains on the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater reportedly got clogged with fallen leaves during the downpour that day. Responding to a midnight emergency call, producing artistic director Ty Jones climbed onto the roof and cleared the debris by hand before the water flowing from the roof was able to damage the stage and backstage area.
The show will go on as scheduled. But members of the company reportedly were blaming the famous Macbeth Curse, a theatrical superstition which decrees that if you speak the play's title backstage, something terrible will happen to the production. Taking no chances, theatre folk tend to refer to the drama as “The Scottish Play.” Read all about the Curse here.
Members of the company have performed a purifying ritual to expunge the curse: turning three times and quoting the “angels and ministers of grace defend us” speech from Hamlet as the traditional countermeasure.
All performances are given at the amphitheatre located in Marcus Garvey Park at Fifth Avenue and 124th Street. The limited run will continue through July 31. This is the fourth annual Shakespeare production performed in the park by The Classical Theatre of Harlem.
Performances are free and open to the public. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.