Saturday, July 1, 2023


Glendale's Antaeus Theatre Company has always been innovative. Currently, in their intimate Broadway / Glendale space, Antaeus brings to life a favorite Shakespeare play  of mine: The Tempest. Director Nike Doukas splashes the Antaeus stage with the energy of a perfect storm. Read the play, then!!   Come prepared to sing. The magic island doesn't exactly bubble out of the roiling sea, but the bottom line is that it is a 'must see.'   (Please copy and paste if the link is not working)

Ms Doukas has made some adjustments to the characters that work pretty well. If you love theatre or might like to have an  affair, this is the show to see. 

Peter Van Norden and Ensemble
Photo by Frank Ishman

The audience enters the space in a new way. There's a party going on with music and dancing. John Harvey lays down  a great beat on drums: raising the roof as we immediately get the idea:  It's a play! A performance: High Octane Bard of Avon! 

Scenic Designer Angela Balogh Calin's set is strewn with the stuff of the show: props and sound makers. A winding staircase ascends to the flies and The Tempest comes alive. But! if you don't know the play, it might be a stretch.  Mariners and the lost company are tempest tossed by the magical waves.

  Original music by John Ballinger and the feeling of a 1940s Radio Drama unfolds, complete with sound effects and foley. The actors are at once performers as well as their characters on microphones that bring the text clearly to life.  No one much ever leaves the stage and clever lighting by Lighting Designer Vickie J. Scott moves us from the sea to the island and landed locations in a way that makes this unusual style acceptably  presentational. We believe two things at the same time.  The actors are all spot on.

The exposed brick upstage wall makes sure we know exactly where we are and at the same time in each locale where the Royals land (Bernard K. Addison as Antonio, John Allee as Sebastian, Adrian LaTourelle  as King Alonso  AND with the clowns plays Stephano! and Saundra McClain as Gonzala), as well as Trinkula and Stephano (Erin Pineda and  Adrian LaTourelle) encountering Caliban (excellent JD Cullum).

In Prospero's (Peter Van  Norden)  cel, we come back to  where he plays chess with Miranda (adorable Anja Racić)  and meet King Alonso's  son, Ferdinand (Peter Mendoza). Of course, Ferdy  immediately collapses to the charms of fair maid, Miranda, who has no recollection of seeing a man.. well..  besides her own father. (Caliban played by excellent JD Cullum also rocking electric guitar doesn't count!)

All in all though the emotional depth of Shakespeare's imagination may not be plumbed, the basic foundations of these iconic characters, the story unfolds with music and style. Familiar lines feel right. The device of microphones combines with Julie Keen's perfect costumes. This Antaeus production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest is a pure delight.

The Players

Peter Van Norden   as Prospero,

 Anja Racić as Miranda; 

Peter Mendoza as Ferdinand,  

 Elinor Gunn as Ariel; 

JD Cullum as  Caliban

Bernard K. Addison as Antonio

John Allee as Sebastian, 

Adrian LaTourelle as  Alonso & Stephano

Saundra McClain as Gonzala

 Erin Pineda as  Trincula. 

Musicians: John Allee on piano, JD Cullum on guitar, and John Harvey on percussion.  

The Tempest

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Nike Doukas

Antaeus Theatre Company

Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center
110 East Broadway
Glendale, CA 91205

June 30 – July 30:
Fridays at 8 p.m.: June 30, July 7, July 14, July 21, July 28
Saturdays at 2 p.m & 8 p.m.: July 1, July 8, July 15, July 22, July 29 (no matinees on July 1, July 29)
Sundays at 2 p.m.: July 2, July 9, July 16, July 23, July 30
Mondays at 8 p.m.:  July 10, July 17, July 24

Tickets and information:
(818) 506-1983




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