Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Locals Know - The Tempest

The highly anticipated production of the Tempest starring Christopher Plummer is up and running, and yes it was worth the wait. As expected, Mr. Plummer is fantastic, the way he commands the attention of his audience and his mastery of Shakespearian text is incomparable and those two aspects alone make this production a must see. There are also some surprise stellar performances in this production. The first of which is that of Julyana Soelistyo as the lovable sprite Ariel. Soelistvo brings an infectious energy and a childlike innocence to this character. So much so that it is hard to believe that in real life she is a married mother of two.
The play itself runs the risk of being a little dark, but Director Des McAnuff has managed to find the comedic moments in the script. Bruce Dow as Trinculo and Geraint Wyn Davies as Stephano lift the audience out of the darkness every time they walk on the stage. Dow's campy antics are absolutely hilarious.
A shout out should also be made to the many hands that are backstage making this show happen. All the technical elements from the slight of hand to big theatrical illusions are all presented with panache.
(As a side note, the first act is very long so be prepared and use the facilities before you are seated.)

Put all of these wonderful performances and technical talents together and the result is a show that should not be missed. It is no wonder that Bravo will be returning to record this production for the archives. I strongly suggest you take advantage of any opportunity to see it live.

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