Just saw "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare at Cal Shakes in Orinda. Wow. I mean. Wow. Anthony Fusco was the man. I mean it. He was "the man". He was Prospero. He was the Duke of Milan. He was the father of Miranda. He was a sorceror, a saint, a fallen hero, an exiled nobleman. He was tragic and vengeful. And yet he felt remorse and shame and hope. I can see why he needs a fifth of JD to polish off a performance of Prospero.

The production was great. There was a mime troop who played the Isle's spirits and did a phenomenal job at it. If I ever see another Tempest, it will appear barren without the active presence of the island's inhabitants.

The physical humour was wonderous. Just superb. If you miss Bill's dialogue, the actors filled you in. It must be harder today to be a Shakespearean actor. Not only do you have to say the lines well, but you MUST act them perfectly as well, perhaps even overact them.

Shakespeare wrote to a different audience than you and I. He assumed that everyone knew who Dido was, and told jokes to that effect. I think me and that other guy who read the Aeneas were the only ones laughing when Sebastian said "Widowed Dido, heh!" (I'll look the actual line up later). Gawd, that was funny. I totally see why the Shake-dogg invoked Juno in the pageant in the second half. He totally imagined Prospero as a modern Aeneas!

Roberto (true identity hidden to protect his/her identity) asked me if I thought Prospero made it back to Italy after freeing Ariel and boarding a ship of his old enemies. I think I know the answer now, after having thought about the Aeneas connexion: Prospero made it back the Lavinian shores alive, but through difficulties.


At 10/13/05, 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will have to look up Aeneas now. It's funny, when something doesn't make "sense" in Shakespeare to me, I just sort of think of it like music and let it flow over me.

I think he made it back too, and watched his daughter start to deal with adulthood as he declines and lets go competely.

That is a great show, man I am not even tired this morning after being out late like that.



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