* * *
None of Shakespeare’s plays is better suited to outdoor staging than “The Tempest,” whose setting is an enchanted island, and it is hard to imagine a better place to see it than under the tent of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, pitched on a wooded bluff overlooking the Hudson River. There being few finer summer theater companies in America, I expected much of Ryan Quinn’s new production, and I got all I hoped for: This was a “Tempest” that gave pleasure of every conceivable kind, one in which Shakespeare’s tale of forgiveness and redemption is retold in such a way as to give like delight to those who know the play well and those who are seeing it for the first time….
Mr. Quinn’s “Tempest” is characteristic of the HVSF’s now-familiar “house style.” Utterly straightforward, with no obscuring high directorial concept superimposed on Shakespeare’s text, it is played out on a plain dirt stage floor devoid of sets and, for the most part, props, with pop-style dancing (skillfully choreographed by Susannah Millonzi) used to set the scene. The magical powers of the furious Prospero are brilliantly suggested by the sound design of Charles Coes and Nathan Roberts and the lighting of Lucrecia Briceno. All else is left to the actors, the text, and the viewer’s imagination….
* * *Read the whole thing here.