The Tempest Is Magical At A.R.T.
A Brilliant Reshaping of Shakespeare's Storm-Swept Saga
By: Mark Favermann - May 17, 2014
Believed to have been written around 1610–11, and thought to be Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, schemes to restore his daughter to her rightful place using his gift for illusion and manipulation.
He conjures up a storm, yes, a tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations expose Antonio's lowly nature, this is followed by the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Prince Ferdinand.
This production features a funky band called Rough Magic that occupies the second story of the set. It performs songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, plus incidental music and a variety of punctuating sound effects. Led by triple threat music director, singer and instrumentalist Shaina Taub and vocalist-bassist Miche Braden, the music adds to the dreamscape atmosphere. Shaina Taub is particularly gifted.
Here Shakespeare’s tale of a father and daughter, the spirit servant Ariel and the monstrous Caliban along with palace and familial deception and intrigue are creatively conjured into a play of dreams and reality, illusion and eventual truth. A.R.T.'s The Tempest is a wondrous theatrical event of major proportions.