The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 9, 1998 - 7A
f'empest' gives storm of a show
By Jeff Druchniak
Daily Arts Writer
Rude Mechanicals' fall presentation of
"The Tempest" played this past weekend
at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater. The
show was a mixed blessing for
Shakespeare lovers,' who were encour-
d to look at a classic play in some new
d interesting ways, but may have been
frustrated in the execution of some
a'spects of the production.
While the whole cast showed commit-
iient and enthusiasm in their roles, diffi-
culty with the verse and elevated lan-
guage was a recurrent issue. This was
probably unavoidable, considering the
oast's relative inexperience with
The most emphatic exception to this
tern was LSA junior Maya Jordan's
Jrtrayal of Caliban, the monster slave
of the enchanted island. Scuttling along
the floor coated in green grime, Jordan
physically inhabited Caliban to great
effect as an earthbound elemental crea-
tWre, a wellspring of base and primitive
The set and costumes were minimalist,
which caused some unsuitable moments,
such as the realization of how poorly
sport jackets fit over swords and scab-
One of director Kristopher Chung's
distinctive casting decisions was to depict
the sprite Ariel with three actors simulta-
Nov. 7, 1998
neously. This rep-
ments of fire, air,
and water, in con-
Jon Reamer, Erin
Jennifer Lima all
but there seemed
to be a point at
of one being in
not be fully realized
villainous usurper of his exiled brother
Prospero's throne, re-imagined as the
femme fatale Antonia. This, however,
made some troubling implications for the
plot. Apparently, in this production's back
story, Antonia became Alonso's seduc-
tress in order to turn against Prospero.
Thus, when she enlisted Alonso's
brother Sebastian to assassinate Alonso
and claim his title, the original motive of
yet greater ambition seemed inadequate.
Instead, LSA junior Alison Swap seem-
ingly wished to trade one royal lover for
another. But one was at a total loss to sup-
ply a reason why Swap would turn from
the imposing, virile Alonso, played by
LSA junior Matt Plumb, to the pompous,
sleazy frat-boy type so convincingly
embodied by Music junior Jon Gentry as
Scenes that worked best were the ones
between Caliban and Stephano and
Trinculo, played by Music sophomore
Aral Gribble and LSA sophomore Nate
Bozen, both fine comedians. These
actors were particularly solid; their work
was well-paced and worthy of attention.
three bodies could
by mere mortal actors.
It was also interesting to see Antonio,
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