Directed by Sheldon Patinkin
Incidental Music by Kingsley Day
At City Lit Theatre
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
Charming and funny Shakespeare work is nicely performed and staged.
Shakespeare final full play,The Tempest is now running at City Lit with a talented and dedicated group of actors who articulate The Bard’s poetic language with verve and aplomb. Filled with terrific period costumes including vivid threads for the Spirits, director Sheldon Patinkin’s deftly staged and superbly cast with non-Equity players who garner all the humor and zaniness of the work.
Lead by commanding and fully glib Dave Skvarla, as Prospero, the magician and exiled Dike of Milan with his daughter Miranda (Laura Korn) and their servant Caliban (Douglas Bryan Bean), the monstrous hale man, half fish, this comedy is a good time show filled with worthy performances.
When Prospero conjures up a storm to drive his enemies’ ship to the island where they stranded him twelve years earlier, he is set to revenge the ills done to him. He orders the Spirit Ariel (Calle Johnson) to put a sleeping spell upon the newly shipwrecked visitors.
Ferdinand (Peter Ash) falls in love with Miranda while Caliban tastes wine with Stephano (Evan Johnson) and the wacko Trinculo (Matt Rockwood). Those three offer several hilarious scenes. But the work of the Spirits to the original music (by Kingsley Day sung nicely by Callie Johnson) do Prospero’s bidding. The resulting adventures fueled by magic and Prospero’s change of heart becomes a delightful romp into the uncharted waters of romance and forgiveness and redemption. This game cast left it all on the stage especially Dave Skvarla as Prospero. Skvarla is doing his best work here. Douglas Bryan Bean and Peter Ash offered yeoman work. Matt Rockwood and Evan Johnson has many funny moments.
Yes, this production of The Tempest proves that non-Equity players who understand and articulate The Bard’s work, can, under the astute direction of a knowledgeable director, mount a worthy and entertaining production of Shakespeare.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date reviewed: February 9, 2014
For more info checkout The Tempest page at theatreinchicago.com
At City Lit Theatre, 1020 W. Brwn Mawr, Chicago, IL, call 773-293-3682, www.citylit.org, tickets $29, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2 pm, running time is 2 hours, 15 minutes with intermission, through March 16, 2014