William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” storms onto the T.U. Studio stage. This classic romantic comedy is an exhilarating evening with ship wrecks, magic, spirits and monsters, young love, drunken fools, sword play, political conspiracy, betrayal and forgiveness? A Jamaica Moon Production presents, what is said to be Shakespeare’s swan song. This performance is a “No Fear Shakespeare” The Tempest adaptation by John Crowther, (simply said this is an abridged version that has been translated into current day English and blended with original text).
“The Tempest” central figure is deposed Duke Prospero, (Robert May), who has been marooned for a dozen years on an enchanted island with Miranda, (Lauren Plaxco) his young daughter. During his exile, Prospero, a student turned master of sorcery, captured two magical island creatures; a spirit Ariel (Lucy Walsh) and the monstrous son of a witch Caliban (Francis Lansang).
Enlisting his supernatural powers and the aid of his enchanted captive, Prospero is able to bring to the island the enemies who had betrayed him; among them his traitorous brother Antonio, (Glenn Fancher), who seized his position, and Alonso, (Jeff Hamasaki Brown) the King of Naples, who aided in the takeover, and Ferdinand (Chad Doreck), the son of Alonso, who falls in love with Miranda.
Once his enemies are delivered, allowing him to to exact his revenge, he chooses not kill or harm them, though he does use his power to teach them a lesson or two. Instead it is revealed that Prospero’s intent is forgiveness. In the end, love prevails, those enslaved are freed, Prospero is able to return to his Dukedom, and good triumphs over evil.
With laughter and merriment throughout, there were several stand-out performances. Lucy Walsh’s Ariel as a light airy spirit was magnetic. She quivers with fear, dances with glee, bounds into action, and blends imperceptibly as though she were born a spirit.
Francis Lansang’s Caliban was enthralling. His body contorted, face distorted, Francis manages to compassionately give Caliban a soul.
Justin Truesdale’s Stephano and Alex Miller’s Trinculo are an amusing duo well deserving of the laughter and applause garnered by their wild and crazy performances.
Director Gloria Gifford has once again skilfully brought classic theatre to the masses, she is worthy of acclaim.
For an enchanted evening, see William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” This performance is entertainment for both the Shakespearian connoisseur, and the nouveau alike.
Robert May (l.), Chad Doreck, Lauren Plaxco, Otari Daneliya, Kevin Ferris, Billy Budinich
Lucy Walsh (l.), Jeff Brown, Christian Maltez, Glenn Fancher.
“New Singers, Young & Passionate Is “All I Want Is Magic”
Director Gloria Gifford does another amazing job at coordinating and guiding basically what I would call a ‘free music session’ of new singers at the Theatre Unlimited/T.U. Studios in North Hollywood. For these performers who want to showcase their personalities and talents, it was an evening of the subject of Love and its impact or lack of impact with the songs they each chose. It’s about what it meant to them in describing their young experiences in their song choices.
“Sweaty Passion, Anger and Confusion is “Fool For Love!”
“Scanty, Snappy and Fun! The Owl and The Pussycat!”
"The Owl and the Pussycat" is based on a play by Bill Manhoff and more popularized by a screenplay written by Buck Henry for George Segal and Barbara Streisand in 1970. It has always been a fun story of a ‘cat’n’mouse’ dynamic between two very different people and there is no better play about when opposites attract each other.
This story will be familiar to many people. It deals with the difficult relationship between Mother and Daughter. Told through Jane and her Mother, who in death reaches her Daughter by leaving her in charge of finishing her novel. Jane (Joanna Kalafatis) is emotionally closed and not in sync with her Mother’s feelings about life. There is a resentment that comes from Jane towards Mom (Mary Burkin ), the voice of wisdom, and she is not going to give in to Mom’s advice, who appears as a persistent ghost continually directing her how to handle her life and how to write the novel. Jane’s roommate Ali (Samantha Carro) is a perfect opposite and brought home the differences in the two girls.