I went to a production of The Tempest put on by Shakespeare By the Sea last night, and I really wish I had done it earlier in the season to tell ya’ll about it, because it was so dope! Shakespeare By The Sea (http://www.shakespearebythesea.org/wp/) is a non-profit that puts on free Shakespeare productions all over Los Angeles County and Orange County during the summer. I’ve been going with my mom since I was a kid. It’s been a while since I went to a performance, and I decided to go last night, because I love The Tempest.
The Tempest is my second favorite by the bard, only after A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s a comedy, so you don’t have to worry about your favorite characters dying. So, basically, this dude named Prospero should be the Duke of Milan, but his a-hole brother, Antonio, and the king, Alonzo, decide that they’re not having it and they strand Prospero and his daughter, Miranda on an island. Prospero and Miranda only have the water sprite, Ariel, and a half-human half-something monster, Calaban to keep them company. Prospero is pissed, so he has Ariel conjure a storm and shipwreck Antonio, Alonzo, Alonzo’s son and heir to the throne Ferdinand, and some other randoms on the island in order to get his revenge. Of course the plot can’t be that simple, and Calaban wants to kill Prospero, and two guys who got shipwrecked want to kill Alonzo, and Miranda and Ferdinand fall in love (which was part of Prospero’s plan, but still pisses him off for some reason). I’m not gonna give away the ending, but trust me, it’s a fun ride.
SBTS’s production was AMAZING. They worked a minimal set, the costumes were gorgeous and sparkly, and the acting was TOP NOTCH. They gender bent Alonzo to Queen Alonza, which made me so happy, because Shakespeare is always light on the female representation. The actress playing Alonza had a serious set of pipes and a magical timbre, too. Their depiction of Ariel was brilliant and utilized multiple actors working together. The Calaban was hilarious. I literally was sitting on the edge of my seat during the first act. It was THAT GOOD.
Sadly, this post comes way too late, because last night was closing night. However, because of the great time I had tonight, I’m certain I’ll be catching whatever they do next summer. You should too!