Thursday, May 13, 2010

Secret Shakespeare

The Secret Theatre is so-named because it sits on an unremarkable stretch of Long Island City, underneath the 7 train and far far removed from the Great White Way. Theatregoers sip on bottles of Yuengling at a tables set up by the entrance while a few hardy souls (from an in-rehearsal troupe practicing nearby, I surmise) grill on a barbecue.

The real delights though happen inside the stage. BOTH saw their production of The Tempest on closing night, and there was a palpable energy in the audience. The production feels like a piece of modern dance as much as it does a play. Ariel is played by not one not two not three but four young women, who speak in unison but move not, and who lend a spritely air to the production. the primary prop is a long purple rope which hangs from a pipe, and which the Ariels use to flip around in, much as a gymnast would.

If there is a false note here, it's Richard Mazda, who plays Prospero. He is angry Prospero rather than a wise one, and Mazda sped through his lines so quickly you would have thought he was anxious for this delightful little run to be over

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