Friday, September 25, 2015

Review of The Tempest at Chicago Shakespeare

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Tempest. It was by William Shakespeare and it was adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller. It was about a girl named Miranda (Eva Louise Balistrieri) and her father who was a magician named Prospero (Larry Yando). And what happens is that Prospero makes a huge shipwreck and washes a prince ashore named Ferdinand (Luigi Sottile). And Miranda falls in love with him. And Prospero realizes that they actually love each other very much and he questions taking revenge on his brother Antonio (Lawrence Grimm) and the king Alonso (John Lister) and the king's brother Sebastian (Michael Aaron Lindner) who have also washed ashore. His brother kicked him out of being the duke and the other people helped him except for Gonzala (Barbara Robertson) who packed them clothes and necessities for babies when they had to leave--and a lot of books! And Prospero has a servant named Ariel (Nate Dendy) who does all his bidding and some really cool magic tricks! And his other servant Caliban (Zach Eisenstat and Manelich Minniefee) in this version was kind of like conjoined monster twins who are not very feminist because they offer Miranda to Stephano (Ron Rains) like she is their property. This was very different from other Tempests that I have seen because it had magic in it--I mean really awesome magic. The magic and the play were the same thing, they used the magic to tell the story. I loved this show. It was so much fun to be at and I really loved it. It is one of my favorite shows I've seen at Chicago Shakespeare!

I really liked the magic. I thought it was really cool and exciting. My favorite trick that they did was the floating one where Miranda was floating and they put a hoop around her so they could show there were no wires or anything. There was another one where Ariel waved his hand over Prospero's jacket and a gold pattern would appear as he took his hand away. I thought that was really cool and I'd never seen anything exactly like it before. It kind of reminded me of those dolls where you put the dress in the water and it changes the pattern. But there was no water or anything that you could see. I have theories about some of the tricks, but I'm not sure if any of them are right. And I'm not sharing them because if they are right that would ruin the show for other people. Ariel did a bunch of sleight-of-hand card tricks that I thought were very cool. At first there was this woman in the audience that came up and he gave her a card and he was supposed to do something crazy with it, but then he just grabbed it and shooed her away. I thought that was funny because the next time he actually did do something amazing; he put together a card he had broken apart. This is all before the show started! They also did this version of sawing a lady in half, but Ariel's head just spun around and around while he was in a box but you could still see his feet at the bottom and his feet were not turning. I thought that was amazing.

The drunks are Trinculo (Adam Wesley Brown) and Stephano. Even though you kind of hate them because they are not very nice talking about women and they treat Caliban not very well either, they are still very funny. The songs that they sing are very funny and in this version are also modern which makes them even more funny. Trinculo first meets Caliban but I kind of feel sorry for Trinculo because even though he is the first one to meet Caliban he gets treated badly by Stephano and Caliban treats him as bad as Stephano does. And Caliban worships Stephano just because he has alcoholic beverages. I thought that it was cool that two people played Caliban and they were basically connected all the time. They had to say a lot of their lines at the same time which made them even creepier. They did cartwheels while they were connected to move around and I thought that was so cool.

I thought that Prospero was really amazing because he was so good at magic but also an amazing actor. You really got to see his relationship with Miranda and it was so believable and beautiful and sad because it seemed like he would do anything for her. It is sad because then she is going to get married and then she won't be with him all the time, and I think he'll be sad about that. I thought Ferdinand and Miranda seemed like they would actually be a good couple and it wasn't just because he was the first man that Miranda saw. Their first attraction is based on how handsome and beautiful the other is, but then they actually talk to each other like equals. Ferdinand is not like "I am a man. You have to listen to me. You can't talk." And she is like, "I'll carry the logs for you!" I thought that was so great. And I just loved this relationship in this show. I thought that Prospero saying, like, "You can't touch her!" was really funny because they were like itching to do that the entire time!

People who would like this show are people who like amazing magic, conjoined monster twins, and alcoholic beverages. I think people should definitely go see this show. I thought it was amazing and I enjoyed it so much!

Photos: Liz Lauren

No comments: