Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

The Tempest 

Wednesday, Sep 20 2006
Traditionally considered to be Shakespeare's last play and his parting statement to the theater, this mystical-minded romance is concerned with the intricacies of what it means to be a family. Director John LeFan and his motley cast of actors and dancers have the feel of a loose-knit clan. They turn the Mariposa Studio into an inviting home that captures the elements and accentuates the themes of this beautiful fantasia. The moment you enter the studio, you're enveloped in the sensual world of a sea-faring vessel caught in a storm. The ensemble uses voice and dancelike movement to illustrate the scene, and it works brilliantly. It's fun to watch a group of theater artists committed to listening to each other and finding sympathetic movement that supports a great playwright's ideas. The multitalented Theron Shaw is a stroke of casting genius as Ariel, bringing to the role an appealing otherworldly quality. Leon Setti as Gonzalo, an honest old counselor, has a grounded presence and a gift for speaking the verse in an accessible, conversational tone. Some of the other actors aren't quite so successful; unfortunately, Bob Taxin simply isn't up for the challenge of playing Prospero, one of Shakespeare's most majestic roles, and it leaves a hole in the evening's entertainment. At two hours and 20 minutes with no intermission, the play feels long, but when the actors' moves, the director's vision, and the writer's poetry align, this production gives us moments of real magic. — Frank Wortham

About The Author

Frank Wortham


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"