Through July 14
THE TEMPEST Shakespeare in Delaware Park
There’s more than a script line in “The Tempest,” when Prospero (David Marciniak) intones “our revels now are ended.”
This is one of Shakespeare’s last plays he wrote alone and it also gets into the issues of aging and family from an aging playwright who has already lost a child.
It’s also a play about magic and study, with Britain ruled by a king who was obsessed with magic and witchcraft, James I.
Prospero is marooned on an island, with daughter Miranda (Christine Turturro), sprite Ariel (Robyn Lee Horn) and Caliban (Phil Wackerfuss), the (dramatically) misbegotten son of Sycorax, the witch who once ruled the island.
Prospero is there because his brother Antonio (Brett Klaczyk) toppled him as duke of Milan and replaced him with himself, with the aid of King Alonso of Naples (David Lundy).
The former duke was put into a small and leaky boat with Miranda and left in open water, presumably so no one could say they directly killed the duke.
They made their way to the island and Prospero continued the study which originally left him too busy to rule Milan.
He mastered the spirits and magic.
When, a ship carrying Alonso and brother Sebastian (Brendan Cunningham), heir Ferdinand (Brendan Didio) and Antonio passes near the island, Ariel conjures up a storm and the ship crashes on the island, seeming to break up and crash everyone into the water and some onto the island.
Ferdinand meets Miranda and instantly falls in love, something Prospero is cautious about because of the personal history involved.
The usurpers can’t figure out what’s going on and Alonso worries he has lost his son.
Caliban sees this as a chance to avenge everything he believes his been done to him since the death of his Dam, Sycorax.
This is all depressing and somewhat predictable from an age where there has been plotting and scheming for power and the throne for generations.
The balance is the king’s jester Trinculo (Chris J. Handley) and the king’s drunken butler Stephano (Norman Sham), the lighter side of Shakespeare and for decades a fallback aspect of his plays.
They are wonderful.
They balance a sorrowful and endless tale of the scheming and plotting which governs Milan and Naples.
Director Saul Elkin has an interesting take for the story on Shakespeare’s new stage, a version based on the Globe Theater where the Bard of Avon first put on his plays and entertained the Stuart populace, a set designed by David Dwyer.
Besides Sham and Handley, Elkin also has strong performances from Marciniak, Turturro, Horn and Didio.
In this season of lousy weather, it’s time for “The Tempest.”
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