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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Shakespeare in the Park presents "The Tempest"

Tess Brenner as Miranda and Edward Lewis French as Arial.
Photo courtesy of Serena Ramos.
William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" will be featured this month as part of the free Shakespeare in the Park performances being performed in two Coconut Grove locations and one location in Hollywood. The performances are being put on by Shakespeare Miami.

Shakespeare's Tempest was written around 1610-11, believed to be the last play Shakespeare wrote alone. It was first performed in 1611. It takes place in a remote island, where Prospero, the Duke of Milan, plots to restore Miranda, his daughter, to her rightful place of ruling the island where the play is set. He conjures up The Tempest to help him. 

The Tempest opens in the middle of a storm, the King of Naples and his crew are struggling to stay afloat on their ship. Prospero and his daughter who are on the island has created the storm with magic, fearing that his enemies are aboard the ship. Prospero, the Duke of Milan, and his daughter were put out to sea years before by his younger brother, Antonio, they managed to survive after battling the sea on a raft, and here, on the island, is where the action takes place.

The royal party from the ship ends up on the island and the action ensures with Prospero and the King of Naples and his crew. Ariel, a spirit, helps out Prospero. Prospero saved Ariel in the past, who had a spell cast upon him by a witch named Sycorax, who previously inhabited the island.

Some of the male roles are played by women in this production, which allows the ladies to participate since so many of the characters are male. A variety of ethnicities are represented, too, which represents our culture today. 

The play is a comedy with a couple battle scenes and choreographed sword fights. Established actor Edward Lewis French flew in from the UK to play a part. 

On January 16, 17 and 18, Shell Hardware (2733 SW 27 Avenue) hosts the performances at 8 pm. Bring a blanket and low chair or rent one for $3.00. The performance itself is free. Early arrivals can show up at 6:30 to set up for a picnic, in the lumber yard.

On January 23 and 24, the performances are at Artspark Ampitheater at Young Circle in Hollywood, 7:30 performances both nights.

On January 30 and 31, the performances are back in the Grove, this time at The Barnacle (3485 Main Highway), both performances at 7:30 pm, the park opens at 6:00 pm for picnics. There is a charge here of $2.00, which goes to The Barnacle. Bring a blanket or low lawn chair and probably a flashlight, as there are no lights before the stage is lit up and it's pretty dark back on the big lawn. Chair rentals are $5.00.

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