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Restaurant lunch highlights:

Art & About: The Tempest

Ariel, played by Michael Littig, the dedicated and very powerful servant of Prospera Ariel, played by Michael Littig, the dedicated and very powerful servant of Prospera

The Hippodrome IS a magic act

By Lynn Dirk, GLOB Content Editor

041714HippWhen I was just barely a UF graduate who didn't want to leave Gainesville and so was working at the Reitz Union – that was in the mid 70s, a coworker was a student who was in a Hippodrome play and had a nude scene. Of course we all had to go. That was when the Hippodrome was in an old convenience store building on Hawthorne Road outside of town, image above right. I thought that play was The Tempest but it could have been A Midsummer's Night Dream. Either way, the Hippodrome has been producing theatrical magic for more than 30 years. Every time I go to a Hipp production I am impressed, by dedicated actors, ingenious set designs, and amazing sound, lighting, and costumes.

041714TEMPEST2Continuing in this long tradition, this production of The Tempest, a William Shakespeare tale of magic and schemes, really mixes it all up – instead of Prospero, a father, we have Prospera, a mother, who is stranded on a strange island with her daughter and many unusual creatures. For a supposed primitive savage native, Caliban, we have a well- sculpted topless and bald specimen who wears swim goggles and shiny football pants that seem to actually be a part of his legs, which creates a truly other worldly effect.

The play begins dramatically with a ship in the midst of a storm and the crew working to control the sails from rope ladders. Thunder, lightning, rain . . . yes rain!

My favorite part of the play was Ariel, the dedicated and very powerful servant of Prospera. His exaggerated and curious facial expressions worked perfectly to create a completely different species with high intelligence and powers, unlike the crude Caliban.

It was also a special treat to hear some of the common expressions that we still use today that are from this play. It makes you realize just how special Shakespeare was . . .and still is: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on."

The tempest continues at the hippodrome theater with performances Through Masy 4.  Follow this link for more information.

Last modified onFriday, 18 April 2014 05:41
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