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This is a listing for the 2010 season.
For the current 2019 shows click here.
The Tempest seems full of sound and...
“The pivotal roles of Ariel and Caliban are performed in costumes so misconceived that they prevent the audience from responding to the characters as anything but cartoons…Christopher Plummer is a perfect choice for Prospero.”
[Plummer] rises above the showbiz trappings that surround him, delivering the Bard’s lines as if he’d written them himself, yesterday. Quietly, he prevails. And that’s almost enough….The rapport between father and daughter is palpable. Lindstrom has a waif-like appeal, not unlike that of Plummer’s own daughter, Amanda.
“The Tempest” gives both the director and his star the opportunity to breathe new life into a familiar story. Less effective are the scenes when Prospero is offstage: The Stephano (Geraint Wyn Davis) and Trinculo (Bruce Dow) farce (an actual vaudeville slapstick makes an unwelcome appearance) 3.5/4 Stars
“Plummer’s intellectual rigor has also rubbed off on McAnuff, whose textual readings this year (both in The Tempest and As You Like It) are not only crystal clear but full of fascinating twists and turns.”
Reid is fond of Plummer but critical of other elements “the spirits Iris, Ceres and Juno are made to resemble monumental toilet-paper dolls cut from a Busby Berkeley musical….McAnuff’s attempts to turn bits and pieces of Shakespeare into quasi-Broadway musical numbers remain jarring.”
“McAnuff becomes so entangled in witty sleight-of-hand that he fails to notice his whole production is perilously short on the requisite depth and real magic to make it truly memorable… [Plummer’s] Prospero will no doubt be remembered for his easy charm…”3.5/5 Stars
“Instead of a fearsome magician imposing himself by force of will as much as art, Prospero becomes a children’s conjuror…[Geraint Wyn Davies] carries the clown scenes almost single-handedly, since Bruce Dow’s Trinculo is wearisome camp and Dion Johnstone’s Caliban, apart from a nice reading of “the isle is full of noises”, almost non-existent.”
“The production works as a series of scenes, but the overall story gets somewhat lost at sea – the pieces don’t quite fit together satisfyingly…Where the production does find a focus – and serves up a good helping of heart – is in Prospero’s relationship with Ariel” 3/4 Stars
“McAnuff, in this production, has resisted any impulse to impose a concept on the play that’s suggested by its themes of enslavement and island colonization….What we do have here is inspired staging, distinctive characterizations and ultimately a most satisfying production…”
“Both [Plummer and McAnuff] are formidable stage artists…[they] impose their vision on Shakespeare’s haunted and haunting dramatic poem…[Plummer] finds clarity in even the densest of speeches…Dion Johnstone’s “hag-born” Caliban is excellent…[but] Lindstrom’s Miranda offers neither innocence nor lyricism.”
Nestruck’s full review to be published Monday, until then: “Plummer is a wizard with words, while his director McAnuff is a master of stage magic. But while they both enchant individually, their different approaches sometimes seem at odds with one another – and the production occasionally sails into choppy seas.”