The Tempest at the American Repertory Theater. Music by Tom Waits. Dance by Pilobolus. Magic by Teller of Penn and Teller. It’s all so elegantly and fluidly combined that it seems perfectly natural for all of these things to exist cheek by jowl. Ariel lazily makes card decks disappear. A Greek chorus performing Waits’s “Dirt in the Ground” couldn’t be more natural. Caliban is performed here by two dancers practically lashed to one another, twirling across the stage and always just a few degrees from the vertical; indeed, they’re always unstably in motion. Prospero, by contrast, is all economy of motion, upright and stern throughout. I couldn’t breathe whenever he uttered a word.
The play was by turns funny and unspeakably moving, jaw-dropping and toe-tapping. Waits’s music and Teller’s magic couldn’t be a better fit for The Tempest‘s playful, mythological island fantasy.
If you’re in the Boston area, you need to find some way to get into The Tempest during its run. If there’s any justice in the world, it’ll soon move to Broadway, and you’ll be able to catch it there.