17 June 2007

The Tempest @ OSF

Went for opening night of the outdoor season on Friday. You should all see this one, particularly those of you who were involved in our production.

Without giving much away, I liked the concept and execution of Ariel and her 'shadows', I liked Caliban and the drunks a LOT (Christopher Duval was a VERY good Trinculo) - this Caliban made some very different emotional choices than ours did, but this worked well, too (proving that there is never A right way, but several or many).

They also merged Francisco and Adrian into a single speaking part and John O Hagan (from our workshop) plays that role.. they didn't cut as many of his lines as we did, though still it's a very reduced part. The Master and Boatswain are also merged into a single part. Antonia is morphed to a sister and that allows for an interesting added dynamic with Sebastian and Alonso...

Nell Geisslinger is a good Miranda, and her Ferdinand works well, too... The performance I liked least was Prospero, and that is unfortunate. The actor has a phenomenal voice, and closing my eyes to LISTEN to him was amazing, but he has an idiosyncratic tendancy and I see it in almost every role he plays - he anchors his feet at a good fighting stance, and then as the words come out, his weight shifts in little lunges and feints - as though his instincts are telling him to move, but he is resisting.

Nevertheless, this is a niggling detail that does not detract from te overall enjoyment of the show. The aesthetic is marvelous, particularly Prospero's 'magic garment' and Ariel's manifestation as a harpy whilst laying accusations upon the Neopolitan nobles and Antonia.

Heidi and Russell will be interested to know there are three kisses on the lips in this production, too, but only one is Miranda and Ferdinand and it comes far later than the first those two shared in our production. The first in this one is a drunken and hilarious celebratory greeting by Stephano and Trinculo, and the third is not unexpected given some things foreshadowed by blocking in this production, but who shares it, I leave you to see for yourself and comment on at our first Plays over Pizza in early July.


Anonymous said...

you should tell me when all this outdoor stuff is happening cause im so sad i missed it! I was wondering if the outdoor plays cost.

Manda (precious)

John said...

yes...they cost about $30 a seat for a student in the back of the house... click on the OSF link down on the far bottom right of our site to see what they run.
And Bowmer pass-holders: Start ACTIVELY trying to see things and inviting your troupe-mates!

Anonymous said...

Meh, I tried to go see the opening of the Taming of the Shrew last night but there were only 3 seats open and they weren't comping them...sad

~Amanda C.