Need A Plumber?

Much has changed since 1616, including plumbing facilities, so when Emma Jane Huerta decided to honor the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death for this year’s Upstarts! Youth Theatre Company production by mounting a decidedly different Macbeth, things were bound to be wonderfully warped and hilarious. Her “Macbreath” is the story of the rise through treachery of Mac, an executive in the Duncan & Duncan Company, who earlier had gained favored status because of a brilliant advertising campaign for mouthwash. Shakespeare’s witches here are the Weird Sisters, plumbers who not only prophesize, but also facilitate Mac’s rise to be the head of Duncan & Duncan. Of course he has to kill a few people to get there, and true to the bard’s original, he falls victim to his and his spouse’s vanity and blind ambition, even making a doomed bid to be president of the U.S. As the Weirds also predict, the trees of Birnam Wood (in this case a gated Montecito golf club enclave with the same name) come to surround him and he is killed with the same poison punch he employed to get rid of his adversaries. Somehow Ms. Huerta manages to hone the students of Peabody Charter School into a tight ensemble that does a great job with this over-the-top material while having a lot of fun.