Mac Bird!

Mac Bird MacBird was a notorious counterculture drama by Barbara Garson satirically depicting President Lyndon Johnson as Macbeth his wife Lady Bird Johnson as Lady Macbeth The production became a big h

  • Title: Mac Bird!
  • Author: Barbara Garson
  • ISBN: 9780394171166
  • Page: 156
  • Format: Paperback
  • MacBird was a notorious 1966 counterculture drama by Barbara Garson satirically depicting President Lyndon Johnson as Macbeth his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, as Lady Macbeth The production became a big hit downstairs at the Village Gate on NY s Bleecker St in the 67 season Coming three years after Kennedy s assassination before the end of Johnson s presidency,MacBird was a notorious 1966 counterculture drama by Barbara Garson satirically depicting President Lyndon Johnson as Macbeth his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, as Lady Macbeth The production became a big hit downstairs at the Village Gate on NY s Bleecker St in the 67 season Coming three years after Kennedy s assassination before the end of Johnson s presidency, it caused controversy Starting out as a short satire by a recent graduate of the Berkeley anti Vietnam war movement, it was developed, with a little help from Shakespeare, into a rousing attack upon the current administration The play, performed in full costume, flavored with rich Texas Boston accents, an attempt at Shakespearean iambic pentameter, begins with the 60 presidential convention, where, with the help of his wife, MacBird hopes to be elected King, but loses to John Ken O Dunc By a plot twist, it s revealed that MacBird will become Viceroy, much to the dismay of the Ken O Dunc clan Then MacBird comes upon three witches who talk to him in riddles, who, in his imagination, reveal to him that he will in good time become King MacBird decides to hasten this prospect invites the Ken O Dunc family to his ranch after the coronation As the day of the visit approaches, his wife, who has been complaining that she always has to do the dirty work, sees a chance for her husband to gain the throne, agrees to call the shots during the visit A procession through the streets is planned, headed by O Dunc, his brothers Bobby Ted, followed up by the Egg of Head the Earl of Warren John is assassinated, is about to be succeeded by his brother Robert, which causes all sorts of complications It had a long engagement in LA became noteworthy because of the future careers of its original cast MacBird starred Stacy Keach as MacBird, alongside Rue McClanahan as Lady MacBird John was played by Paul Hecht, Robert by Wm Devane John Pleshette played Ted John Clark, originating the Earl of Warren role, left the cast early to marry Lynn Redgrave, Cleavon Little s 1st professional job was in the play The stage manager, Joel Zwick, became an acclaimed movie tv director.

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      Published :2020-04-03T00:26:45+00:00


    About “Barbara Garson

    • Barbara Garson

      Barbara Garson is an American playwright, author and social activist, perhaps best known for the play MacBird Garson attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a B.A specializing in Classical History in 1964 She was active in the Free Speech Movement, as the editor of The Free Speech Movement Newsletter, which was printed on an offset press that she herself had restored She was one of 800 arrested on December 2, 1964 at a sit in at Sproul Hall, Berkeley, following the Machine Speech by Mario Savio In 1968, Garson had a child, Juliet, and in 1969 she went to work at The Shelter Half, an anti war GI coffee house near Fort Lewis Army base in Tacoma, Washington In the early 1970s, she moved to Manhattan, publishing short, humorous essays and theater reviews primarily for The Village Voice as well as plays.



    178 thoughts on “Mac Bird!

    • I'd heard a lot about this play since its first production in New York but didn't get around to reading the thing until finding it for sale in a used edition. Indeed, much of what I read is stuff discovered fortuitously, years after the intent was formed. Excepting cases of necessity, such as an assigned reading for a class, I rarely go out of my way to obtain a title.Years later, when I was ending my eleventh year as chair of the state affiliate of the Socialist Party, I met the author, Barbara [...]


    • Barbara Garson’s MacBird! is a rousing but ultimately forgettable satire of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. Garson borrows and appropriates scenes and lines from several of Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays (chiefly Macbeth), but the narrative cannot sustain the weight of the play’s conceptual bulk. MacBird! feels situated in a particular interpretive moment that unfairly blamed Johnson for the United States’ military failure in Vietnam while conveniently ignoring Kennedy’s contributi [...]


    • I read this for Banned Books Week 2013.What I enjoy about this play is the seemingly haphazard appropriation of lines from multiple Shakespeare plays, which I always find an interesting technique. Though it doesn't seem like Garson is particularly concerned with appropriating lines in any systematic or purposeful way--for instance, while there are sections that seem to link Bobby with Hamlet (another famous, if problematic, revenger), but then MacBird also gets some of Hamlet's lines.In terms of [...]


    • I read this play when I was 13; it was part of a gift of books my father gave me during a visit ( Five Smooth Stones was one, andThe Harrad Experiment was another--both relics of the Sixties).Barbara Garson, now in her sixties, is still an anti-war activist and playwright; her plays since MacBird haven't enjoyed half the same box office appeal. Yet this satire stirred up a lot of controversy in its time, especially at the height of the Vietnam War and urban unrest. Of course, it's based on Shake [...]


    • I found this at a used bookstore. Since Macbeth is my personal favorite Shakespeare work and, like most people, i would imagine, I went through a period of time fascinated with the Kennedy Assassination, this immediately became something I needed to check out. As an overall work, and like most satire in general, this would be stronger viewed in period. 50 Years years later, some of the bite feels diminished. Also, with the perspective of history, we have knowledge that Garson couldn't have when [...]


    • A classic work of 1960s political theater, originally intended to be no more than a one-off demonstration sketch. Advised to flesh out the sketch into a full-length parody of MacBeth, activist-playwright Barbara Garson ended up with Off Broadway's biggest hit of the year. Potentially useful as a model for playwrights at this turbulent time in American social life. The parody preserves the broad outlines of Shakespeare, and plays competently with verse forms. Set in the aftermath of the assassina [...]


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