For fans of William Shakespeare and classical theater, New Muses Theatre Company is set to launch its production of “The Tempest” on Jan. 12. The play runs through Jan. 28 with performances slated for Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. New Muses plays are held in the Dukesbay Theatre in the Merlino Building at 508 6th Ave., #10, Tacoma.
“The Tempest” was my favorite of the bard’s plays that we had to read in high school English class (a close second was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”). What’s not to like? You have Prospero, a shipwrecked sorcerer on an exotic, remote island with his beautiful daughter Miranda. The marooned sorcerer was the Duke of Milan but was supplanted by his brother Antonio. The sorcerer conjures up the titular tempest to bring his brother and cohorts to the island so that everyone can get their rightful reward or the comeuppance that they deserve.
The play features a host of fantastical characters like witches, sorcerers, elemental spirits, deformed monsters, drunken servants, courtiers and jesters.
The play weaves together a trio of plots. In one, the deformed monster teams up with a pair of drunkards and attempts to overthrow the sorcerer Prospero. Another storyline involves the sorcerer’s engineering of a romance between his daughter, Miranda, and a prince who is one of those brought to the island by the tempest. A third plot involves a conspiracy to assassinate the king of Naples (who is among those caught up in the storm).
New Muses Theatre is Tacoma’s best resource for bringing classics to the local stage. Although they mix some contemporary works into their offerings, they also have done some great productions of plays by Heinrich Ibsen, the great Norwegian playwright, in addition to Shakespeare and other venerable theatrical works. Last season, the group did a marvelous adaptation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”
At $15, New Muses Theater’s productions are a steal. Don’t miss the chance to catch this classic. For tickets and additional information, visit www.newmuses.com.