The Tempest is neither a discourse on colonialism nor a mystical testament. It is a wildly experimental stage comedy, prompted ultimately, I suspect, by Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.”

Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The Invention of Human. NY: Riverhead Books, 1998. Pages 662-3.

Memory is a bad thing to lose. I can’t recall, somewhere, recently, there’s a girl named “Ariel.” I only mention that because that’s the name of the lead sprite, fairy of the wind, whatever, in The Tempest. Which I mentioned to the girl named Ariel, and I got that dead look, “Huh? Shakespeare’s what?” I tend to expect that to be followed by, “My parents were hippies,” as if that covers a multitude of sins. Which it might, really.

I’m wondering, Shakespeare’s Tempest has been tied to Forbidden Planet. I just wonder if anyone’s made the leap to War Games (chess allusion), or Gilligan’s Island.

San Antonio had some “Free Shakespeare in the park,” doing The Tempest. It was one of those truly amazing productions. The setting was Prospero – stranded on a deserted planet instead of an island. The tone was set with “classic” psychedelic-era rock, against minimalist stage. Yeah, and the costumes were from turn-of-the-millennium rave culture. I wasn’t sure, the set could’ve been a throwback to early 1950’s camp SciFi, or, maybe it was decade-old techno. Not sure which.

Prospero’s mighty staff looked like an over-sized glow-stick, that was for sure. The masque was three scantily clad ladies clambering up set’s background, again, rave-culture influence clearly visible.

But it was fun, and somehow, it all hung together much better than expected.

Just a fabulous show, I’m saying. Perhaps one of the more memorable ones ever. Capped, perchance, by Ariel swinging from the highest point on the stage, several meters above everyone else, a true sprite of the air.