The Tempest

Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare's "The Tempest." It's easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play -- to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy -- but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped immeasurably by Jameson Jones' graceful choreography, highlights the ethereal nature of the story and creates a vivid sense of place. A Noise Within has been reliably excellent for a long time, but this show is a galvanizing example of what innovative and vital theater it's capable of.

With:
Alonso - Mitchell Edmonds Sebastian - Richard Soto Prospero - Robertson Dean Antonio - Dwight Bacquie Ferdinand - Jason Chanos Gonzalo - Harris Berlinsky Caliban - Stephen Weingartner Trinculo - Bo Foxworth Stephano - Ray Porter Miranda - Dorothea Harahan Ariel/Ceres - Michelle Duffy Boatswain/Spirit - Carlos Larkin Juno/Spirit - Suzanne Jamieson Spirits - Radick Cembrzynski, James Foster-Keddie, Noëlle Francis, Elaine Mäni Lee, Schuyler Scott Mastain

Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It’s easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play — to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy — but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped immeasurably by Jameson Jones’ graceful choreography, highlights the ethereal nature of the story and creates a vivid sense of place. A Noise Within has been reliably excellent for a long time, but this show is a galvanizing example of what innovative and vital theater it’s capable of.

Once the duke of Milan, Prospero (Robertson Dean) was betrayed and ended up on a mostly deserted island with his young child Miranda (Dorothea Harahan). Many years later, Prospero has become a powerful sorcerer, and he creates a great storm at sea to shipwreck both his enemies and a suitor for his daughter. Although this is partly a tale of supernatural vengeance, Elliott knows it is really about colossal forgiveness — a blessing seemingly offered even to the treacherous if pitiful Caliban (Stephen Weingartner) in a moving conclusion original to this production that the Bard himself might have applauded.

Dean delivers an impressive Prospero, his humanity showing through an imperious façade. Harahan and Jason Chanos (as the prince Ferdinand) play their romance completely straight, and it’s the more charming for it. Weingartner brings a lithe physicality to Caliban, and makes a terrific comic trio with Bo Foxworth (Trinculo) and Ray Porter (Stephano), who are hilarious in their drunken deconstructions of how a royal court should conduct itself. Michelle Duffy, however, is astonishing as Prospero’s fairy servant Ariel, in a perf so striking and fluid that it seems more an invocation of a fantasy creature.

Darcy Scanlin’s lovely set of mountain peaks poking through a blanket of clouds creates a suitably airy ambience, and Peter Gottlieb’s dappled lighting evokes the trees and natural locations of the island. Laura Harper’s masks add an appropriately enigmatic mien to the spirits, and Laura Karpman’s delicate music combines echoing voices, percussion, and a vaguely Asian flavor into a rich mélange that brings the wonder of the play to life.

The Tempest

A Noise Within; 145 seats; $36 top

Production: A Noise Within presentation of a play in two acts by William Shakespeare. Directed by Geoff Elliott.

Crew: Sets, Darcy Scanlin; costumes, Jennifer Brawn Gittings; lighting, Peter Gottlieb; sound, Ron Wyand; production stage manager, Julia Ellen Diamond. Opened, reviewed April 7, 2006; runs through May 21. Running time: 2 HOURS, 25 MIN.

Cast: Alonso - Mitchell Edmonds Sebastian - Richard Soto Prospero - Robertson Dean Antonio - Dwight Bacquie Ferdinand - Jason Chanos Gonzalo - Harris Berlinsky Caliban - Stephen Weingartner Trinculo - Bo Foxworth Stephano - Ray Porter Miranda - Dorothea Harahan Ariel/Ceres - Michelle Duffy Boatswain/Spirit - Carlos Larkin Juno/Spirit - Suzanne Jamieson Spirits - Radick Cembrzynski, James Foster-Keddie, Noëlle Francis, Elaine Mäni Lee, Schuyler Scott Mastain

More Scene

  • TBS 'Full Frontal with Samantha Bee'

    Samantha Bee, Molly Ringwald Discuss #MeToo, Morgan Freeman at 'Full Frontal' FYC

    Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It’s easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play — to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy — but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped […]

  • The Paley Center for Media Presents

    Endemol Shine's Cris Abrego Shares Hope for Bilingual Programming at Paley Center

    Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It’s easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play — to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy — but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped […]

  • 'Adrift' film premiere

    'Adrift' Team Talks Making a 'Female Superhero' on the Open Ocean

    Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It’s easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play — to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy — but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped […]

  • HBO's 'SUCCESSION

    Why Brian Cox Says Wealthy Family Drama 'Succession' Is Both Timeless and Timely

    Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It’s easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play — to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy — but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped […]

  • Gracie Awards

    Rita Moreno Celebrates Female Empowerment at Gracie Awards: 'It's About Damn Time'

    Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It’s easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play — to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy — but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped […]

  • global women's rights awards

    Nina Shaw, Laura Dern Stress Importance of Intersectionality in Time’s Up Movement

    Director Geoff Elliott, a superb cast and an outstanding production team create true theatrical magic in their new presentation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It’s easy for directors to mishandle this tricky play — to upset the balance of serious drama and broad comedy — but Elliott gets every note right. His deft staging, helped […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content