The fall season does not bring drastic climate change, browning leaves, or even the need for jackets to the Tucson desert. In fact, more adventurous Tucsonans might still be braving the dropping temperatures of their swimming pools in this weather. What the new season does bring, however, is a long list of seasonal activities for the community to enjoy. Pumpkin patches, haunted houses, and public picnics are in high demand, as parents and children alike are seeking a more interactive form of entertainment outside of television and video games. It is true that getting out of the living room and into the fresh air is ideal for body and soul, but what about the mind? What if someone is looking for a more cerebral, even educational form of entertainment this fall season? If this is you, look no further than to Tucson’s indie movie theater, The Loft.
The Loft is now hosting an “Art on Screen” series that airs productions from National Theater Live. National Theater Live is a new effort from the National Theater in London that broadcasts live plays to cinemas worldwide. Launched in 2009, National Theater Live has broadcast over 20 classic productions to 1.5 million people in 500 venues all over the world. Cameras that give audiences abroad the perfect view of the ins and outs of the entire production are strategically placed around London stage. The end result is a breathtaking theatrical experience. In the coming weeks, The Loft will bring two of National Theater Lives most acclaimed productions to Tucson: Frankenstein and Macbeth.
Frankenstein stars talented Hollywood actors Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek, The Fifth Estate) and Johny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) in alternating roles as Victor Frankenstein and The Creature. Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) directs the gothic tale about a wretched monster given the gift of life by his creator, Victor Frankenstein, only to be cast out into a world of cruelty and violent rejection. Frankenstein will be shown on Oct 31 at 7p.m., and Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. Tickets to the production are $15.
Macbeth showcases a seasoned cast of veterans including Kenneth Branagh (Frankenstein, Hamlet) as the usurper Macbeth, and Alex Kingston as the diabolical Lady Macbeth in a dramatic allegory about a power driven Scottish general, the impervious sting of guilt, and the inescapability of justice. Macbeth is co-directed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh. The production will be shown at The Loft on Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. and Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Though dealing with adult themes, both plays are classic and timeless staples in literature, and should be experienced by teenagers and adults alike. The Loft’s National Theater Live productions provide Tucson with a much-needed outlet for entertainment seekers who wish to have a good time, and expand their minds in the process.