The time-tested plays of Shakespeare lend themselves to an extraordinary level of interpretation – at times, incredibly successful and at others, not so much.
Shakespeare Orange County’s outdoor amphitheater staging of “The Tempest” qualifies as a mixed bag. Some elements are marvelously effective, while others miss the boat.
The boat analogy is apt, for the play’s focal event is a raging hurricane at sea that causes its passengers and crew to become stranded on a remote island.
The storm, of course, isn’t natural, but whipped up by Prospero (Harry Groener), a magician. Twelve years earlier, he was Duke of Milan – but his jealous, treacherous brother Antonio (Gene Godwin) usurped his office and appropriated his title, then stranded brother Prospero and infant niece Miranda on a remote island.
Turns out, the island is bewitched, and Prospero soon learns how to cast spells – so when a ship bearing Antonio and his retinue sails nearby, he sees his chance for revenge.
In Peter Uribe’s staging, the island is now located not near Italy, but somewhere in the South China Sea. The change allows Uribe and SOC to tap the talents of a local Korean performing arts troupe and gives…