“One of the most exciting things in the theater world is when a director makes the bold attempt of radically changing a well established and loved play. When the performance actually lives up to the hype and expectations, it is a glorious and magical event that can totally alter your perception of what theater can accomplish. The Tempest, currently in production by the Marin Shakespeare Company, has accomplished the aforementioned feat, in a marvelous display of the Steampunk genre.
For those not familiar with the concept of Steampunk, it is a sub-genre of Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Historical Fiction that imagines a time (usually set around the Victorian or post-American Civil War era), where steam power reigns, and Nicola Tesla’s imagination for electricity was able to take it’s course. If you are familiar with the works of H.G. Wells or Jules Verne, you have already had a starter course in Steampunk, though the term was not invented until the 1980’s.
in this production of The Tempest, director Jon Tracy replaces the magic and mysticism of the Bard’s original setting…with Proto- and Fringe-science that would make Tesla and Victor Frankenstein proud. The sets are a wonder to behold, and the costumes are the linchpin that really hold the visual them of the production together. The slightly tattered and worn in costumes pull together the idea that this is not your parents' The Tempest.
Every actor in this production was great. From the optimistic youthfulness of Sarah Gold’s Miranda, to the paternal love and caring of Robert Currier’s Alonso, it is plain to see that each actor put a lot of time into honing their characters and giving them something to work off of.
Special recognition should go to Michael Torres for delivering an incredibly nuanced version of Caliban, which went beyond the tired savage/monster that has been done many times before. Cassidy Brown also did an outstanding job as Stephano, and was easily the highlight of the comedic side of the production.
With a brilliant concepts, gorgeous visuals and a stellar cast, The Tempest is definitely going to be a contender for best Shakespeare of the year. Grab whomever you can and show them how magical and compelling Shakespeare can still be.”
– Paul Webb, For All Events