Tiny Ninja Macbeth, the New York International Fringe Festival Award winner for Innovation and Originality, ends its run at the Present Company Artspace Dec. 26. The "hardest working tiny ninjas in miniature classic theatre," as the Village Voice put it, have been running on a new schedule - Sundays through Tuesdays - with a revamped, reninja-ed and reblocked show since Oct. 15.
Director Dov Weinstein, who founded the Tiny Ninja company in 1999, manipulates the assorted plastic vending machine figures who recite William Shakespeare's great tragedy of murder and ambition. Mr. and Mrs. Smile will be playing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, three green aliens are the witches, and various ninjas fill the rest of the roles. Weinstein plays the porter himself.
Because of the small scale of the production, only 10 seats are available per performance. But tininess doesn't mean tiny production values; there are plenty of lighting effects for storms and the weird sister scenes, a tiny floating dagger and spinning apparitions.
In a released statement, Weinstein assured skeptics, "I think it's safe to say that this is Macbeth as it was meant to be seen, performed by Tiny Ninjas on a briefcase-sized stage. If tiny plastic ninjas had existed in the 17th century, I have no doubt that Shakespeare himself would have staged the play in this way."
Tickets are $12. The Present Company Artspace is located at 196 Staton Street between Ridge and Attorney. For information and reservations, call (212) 420-8877. *
In related news, Tiny Ninja Theatre tackled a new topic, the history of the D.U.M.B.O. district, at the 5th International Toy Theatre Festival, Nov. 9-12. In A Brief History of D.U.M.B.O., Tiny Ninja took spectators to that special corner of Brooklyn under the Manhattan Bridge.
-- By Christine Ehren