In the Macbeths’ coronation scene, all the glamorous ritualistic elements of the production coalesce: Costume designer Tamara Cobus cloaks Lady Macbeth’s kittenish orange jumpsuit in a flowing gown of spangles and net. Set designer Matt McAdon’s flying arch, suggestive of both castles and cathedrals, glides into place as the new court’s insignia is projected onto the background. It’s a perfect marriage of jaw-dropping gorgeousness and creepiness.
Such is the incantatory power of Cynthia D. Barker’s Lady Macbeth that she seems at times to speak in an almost voodoo gibberish.
Though Lady M manipulates her husband through sex as well as ambition and greed, the chemistry between Barker and Ghant doesn’t seem all that steamy. However the fleeting moments shared by Ross (Brik Berkes) and Lady Macduff (Joy Brunson) are loaded with erotic undertones. While Victor Love’s Hecate is a bit of a hoarse raven, the trio of grotesquely deranged twitchy witches (Danyé Brown, Enoch King and Carrie Smith) is magnificent.
This is not to say that every detail works. The “Perfidia” interlude stretches the tropical island conceit a bit thin. The paparazzi cameras are a little lame. And the opening sequence, a video montage of digital gobbledygook, may confuse more than enlighten.
But when the blood flows and the projections suggest a kaleidoscope of chaos tinged with beauty, this monumental “Macbeth” will move you in a way that is sobering and haunting all at once.
8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. Through Oct. 28. $13-$45. Georgia Shakespeare, Conant Performing Arts Center, Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-504-1473, gashakespeare.org
Bottom line: Thrilling.