'The Tempest' is a Hit
The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has another hit on its hands. The Tempest, directed superbly by Ethan McSweeny, makes for a great evening in the theater. McSweeny once again shows us how talented he is.
The plot is fairly simple. The magician Prospero, after twelve years of being marooned on a magical island with his daughter Miranda, tells her was once the Duke of Milan. The play revolves around how he gets his revenge against those he says usurped his power.
Aside from the great acting, and there is great acting, what makes this a particularly fun evening in the theatre are the great costumes, scenic and lighting design. Lee Savage, the scenic designer has turned the stage into a big sandbox for the island. The images he uses for the ship tossing in the storm are great. Then there are Jennifer Moeller’s creative costumes and Christopher Akerlind’s lighting which manages to keep the audience enthralled and on the edge of their seats. There are a number of huge puppets in the play and when they make their entrance the audience oohs and aahs appreciatively which is clearly what their designer James Ortiz wanted us to do. They are truly memorable.
Then there is Ariel played by Sofia Jean Gomez who flies around the stage in a way that can only be reminiscent of Peter Pan. And how she does it, directed by Stu Cox, and her good acting keep the attention on her whenever she is on-stage or should I say flying above the stage.
Geraint Wyn Davies, who has been at the STC before as Don Armando, Richard III and Cyrano, is a great Prospero in this production of the Tempest. He is a commanding presence on the stage. Rachel Mewbron who plays his daughter Miranda also does a good job.
Then there is Clifton Duncan who makes a good Caliban, easy on the eyes as well, and the scenes he shares with Triculo played to perfection by Liam Craig and Stephano played by the extremely talented Dave Quay are some of the best in the production. D. C. audiences hopefully will get to see Quay again. He hails from Atlanta and I had the good fortune to meet his grandparents after the show. They travel around to watch him perform and his grandmother said to me, “We are so proud of him and enjoy watching him and can’t wait till he is in a play in Paris”.
The rest of the cast is very good and what can you say that hasn’t already been said about the inimitable Ted Van Griethuysen who is great as Gonzalo. If you have never seen the Tempest this is a great introduction to the play and if you have you will find this one of the best productions of it you will have ever seen. It is at the STC Harman Hall until January 11th and tickets could make a great Holiday gift for someone you care about.