How was your experience?
I've seen several shows with this group, several of which have been amateur and/or awkward; I went in with tempered expectations. This show, though, was professional-caliber and far and away the best showing I've seen from this company. (Not to sound like a jerk, but truly, I have seen the Tempest many times and am pretty judgmental when it comes to my standards for its production.) For one, it was visually dazzling, particularly regarding costumes and the surprising, fast-paced staging. In addition to the period authenticity for each costume, the high-concept, intentionally anachronistic costumes for the double-Ariel (male and female actors playing the role as one character) were incredibly impressive -- and raunchy, but that's not why they deserve praise. The real strength was the cast, which had perfect chemistry and literally no weak links. Every actor deserves praise, though I would particularly single out the actors who played Alonzo (a small-ish role that gave all the pathos and power to the climactic scene); Ferdinand (funny enough for Second City, yet perfectly effective for Shakespeare); and Prospero (truly worthy of consideration for a regional acting award -- I saw another review here that criticized her perceptible laryngitis, but since she somehow managed to be a hybrid of King Lear and Beatrice from Much Ado, I question whether the other reviewer attended the same show that I did). Having seen this group hit and miss on different occasions, I certainly hope they continue in this vein. I wish everyone had seen this Tempest. It was a genuine triumph.