Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 19, Ed. 1 Friday, September 23, 2011 Page: 33 of 48
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group has already launched a successful Tues-
day night open mike comedy event at Percus-
sions Lounge, and in February presented a
staged reading of Frank Wedekind'g 1891 play
Spring Awakeniitg, the day before the musical
based on that play opened at Bass Perform-
ance Hall. They also brought Hollywood com-
edy writer Bruce Vilanch in for a one-night
Like other arts groups with a large LGBT
following that present works of interest to that
community — including Uptown Players and
the Turtle Creek Chorale — Trentham says
QLive doesn't want the label of "gay theater"
... despite the big "Q" in its name.
"Young [audiences] don't think in those
terms anymore," he says. "They just want to
see theater they like."
With Corpus Clmsti, Trentham says that cre-
ating an immersive experience will be crucial
to the production. "It's a working machine
shop/' he says, "You walk in and the actors are
working, getting their hands dirty. Then in the
cleansing scene, they actually are cleaned."
Camp, who has led Q Cinema for 13 years,
'Tempest:' You, us
Kevin Moriarty is a director who
embraces the full spectacle of Shake-
speare, and while you can disagree
with his decisions sometimes, you
have to respect his commitment. He
likes elements we might consider by-
products of the Elizabethan Age, its
Hey-Nonny-Nonnyisms: Interludes of
courtly ballets and minstrel-strummed
songs, arresting, fourth-wall-violating
asides to the audience, expository
speechifying — everything Chekhov
and Ibsen and a host of others
steered away from.
But he's also a director who appre-
ciates contemporary stagecraft: Re-
configuring the structure of plays,
emphasizing the astonishing
pageantry of an evening at the theater
— sometimes taking us out of the
play, but often with grandeur. The bal-
ance isn't always an easy one, but it
can take your breath away.
There are several such gasp-induc-
ing moments in his staging of The Tempest, start-
ing with the opening scene, set on an airplane
instead of a boat. As the wizard Prospero (Cham-
blee Ferguson, pictured left), like Desmond from
Lost, rips the jet from the sky, the stage instantly
transforms into a barren wasteland, as stark and
beautiful as any set the Dallas Theater Center has
ever produced. There are trap doors and bits of
magic and flying fairies. It will make you say, 'Wow."
But there are also the many edits. Yes, some of
the talkiness is removed, but also some of the
scope. And keeping it without an intermission
leaves one's butt castigated by those Wyly seats
for nearly two hours.
This Tempest feels more like a series of vi-
gnettes than a single story: The comic relief, the
sappy romance, the political intrigue, the long-stew-
ing recriminations, bracketed by Ferguson's Ahab-
like Prospero. At first, he's a vengeful terrorist and
hypocritical zookeeper, enslaving his island's native
is no stranger to controversy. He was a critical
player in the late '90s "Labor of Love" project
at the now-defunct Fort Worth Theatre. That
group presented shows like Paul Rudnick's
Jeffm/ and The Most Fabulous Stonj Ever Tolde
and Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band. A
few times, there were protesters in front of the
performance space, Orchestra Hall.
Considering the dust-up Corpus Christi
caused in Texas last year when a Tarelton State
University junior had his student production
of it canceled, Camp is prepared for blowback.
"You are not going to tell me what Lean and
cannot do in my town, even if you're the lieu-
tenant governor," he says. "This is an impor-
tant work by a Pulitzer Prize-winning
playwright who's from Texas.... It's an incred-
ibly pro-spiritual show. It's not anti-religion or
blasphemous. It takes organized religion,
which has been used to club the gay and les-
bian community for many years, and retells
the story that makes it a little more compatible
and open to them."
For now, they'll have to See how their audi-
ence deals with a show outside a bike shop. ■
fauna, the ethereal Ariel (lithe, white-eyed Hunter
Ryan Herdicka, pictured right) and its Orc-ish Cal-
iban (Joe Nemmers, delivering us Quasimodo of
the mud with poignancy and humor). Then Pros-
pero changes gears, softening and showing mercy,
moved by his daughter Miranda's love for his
The Tempest is problematic Shakespeare, nei-
ther comedy nor history nor classically tragic, but a
romance with obscure motivations (how quickly
Prospero's mind is changed by Miranda's capri-
cious libido, when her suffering for two decades
went unnoticed) made more obscure in this version
— Prospero seems more like ringmaster than pro-
tagonist. Ah, well: The Bard was a better poet than
playwright, so let's give credit to Moriarty for taking
this Tempest out of the teapot.
— Arnold Wayne Jones
Wyly Theatre, 2401 Flora St. Through Oct. 9.
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 19, Ed. 1 Friday, September 23, 2011, newspaper, September 23, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239186/m1/33/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.