What a fun twist on Shakespeare’s comedy “The Temptest”!
By Carol Edger Germain
Antaeus Theatre Company embellishes the story with a live band onstage throughout (they were jamming as we entered), numerous clever and funny Foley effects, new music, additional dialogue, and creative staging in their small space.
The theater has only 80 seats, so all seat views are perfect, and the audience can easily feel they are part of the play. That effect was embellished by part of the dialogue being directed toward the audience, an interesting concept which worked well. The poetry, comedy, and themes of revenge and forgiveness of the basic story are all there: Prospero the sorcerer and the former Duke of Milan (Peter Van Norden) and his daughter, Miranda (Anja Racić), have been banished to an enchanted island by Prospero’s dastardly brother, Antonio (Bernard K. Addison). Prospero uses his powers to create a storm (which magically surprises the audience as much as the doomed shipmates) that shipwrecks Antonio and the King of Naples on the enchanted island so he can exact his revenge. However, spells, tricks, soul-searching and the insight, interference, and assistance of all the temporary islanders create a wave of action and emotion leading to forgiveness and understanding. The spirit Ariel (Elinor Gunn) and the monster Caliban (JD Cullum) both have auras of humanity about them even though they are non-humans.
It’s nonstop action, all the actors and the band remain on the stage for the entire play, the characters fading into the background occasionally.
The Tempest Written by William Shakespeare Directed by Nike Doukas Starring Bernard K. Addison, John Allee, JD Cullum, Elinor Gunn, John Harvey, Adrian LaTourelle, Saundra McClain, Peter Mendoza, Erin Pineda, Anja Racić, Peter Van Norden Musicians: John Allee on piano, JD Cullum on guitar, and John Harvey on percussion Now through July 30 Fridays at 8 p.m.: July 7, 14, 21, 28 Saturdays at 2 p.m & 8 p.m.: July 8, 15, 22, July 29 (no matinees on July 1 and 29) Sundays at 2 p.m.: July 9, 16, 23, 30 Mondays at 8 p.m.: July 10, 17, 24 Antaeus Theatre Company Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center 110 East Broadway Glendale, CA 91205 Theater is in downtown Glendale, restaurants and other businesses nearby, easy parking (first 90 minutes free, then $2 per hour in Glendale Marketplace garage located at 120 S. Artsakh Ave.) Tickets: $20 - 40 Antaeus.org; (818) 506-1983.
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