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Shakespeare play rocks the boat
by Krystal Bick
Jul 23, 2008 | 772 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo- Lynnette Brown playing Ariel and Dan Morgan as Prospero rehearse for Thursday's opening night.
Courtesy Photo- Lynnette Brown playing Ariel and Dan Morgan as Prospero rehearse for Thursday's opening night.
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Crashing waves and deafening thunder open Shakespeare’s romantic play “The Tempest” as a boat is seen caught in the violent raging sea. On deck, men frantically try to save their seemingly doomed lives before the inevitable splintering of wood. There is no hope for them.

Until, that is, the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song is cued and all is suddenly not lost.

While the bard may have not introduced the Professor and Mary Ann to the island for one of his last plays, “The Tempest (kinda)" is about to change all that.

Opening today, “The Tempest (kinda)” held at the Gold Hill Theater outside of Virginia City, Nev., is a modern interpretation of the play full of sorcery, island nymphs and deception. Other surprises include references to “Moby Dick,” “Jaws,” “Rocky” and even some Van Halen music. Director and actor Cameron Crain said that’s just the beginning of it.

“Before starting this, I thought about how to hold the audience’s attention and keep it,” Crain said, explaining that his interpreted script is his original work. “I thought about how the story of 'The Tempest' could relate to now. And we just went really silly with it.”

Comprised of actors from Gold Hill Theatre Company and Nevada Shakespeare Company, “The Tempest (kinda)” is a local production, put on by Nevada actors, many of whom Crain knows well, allowing for parts to be personalized.

“We’ve created it out of our little company,” Crain said, who co-directs with his wife, Michelle. “So I started tailoring those characters for each actor to bring out who they are, within Shakespeare.”

Having worked on this production since September of last year, Crain said he is quite familiar with other Shakespeare plays, having directed and starred in “Romeo and Juliet,” “Comedy of Errors” and “Macbeth” to name a few.

But as far as original Shakespeare language goes, Crain considers his interpretations to be quite liberal, keeping about “60 percent of the original Shakespearian language and 40 percent” of Crain’s work.

“I love to debate this with purists,” Crain said, explaining that there is animosity among those who want to retain the original Shakespeare language those who do not. “We as a culture tend to idolize him but the truth is he was writing and borrowing from anything he could find.”

Crain said he tried to replicate Shakespeare's borrowing by referencing modern-day culture.

“Our philosophy is that they (the audience) have a good time,” Crain said, “and they’ll understand the story better and appreciate Shakespeare’s language better as long as they have a good time and laugh.”

“The Tempest (kinda)” will run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until Aug. 9.

As the theater is an outdoor venue, audience members are advised to bring warm layers and a pillow for the wooden seats.

Tickets are available to purchase at the door for $25 for general admission and $30 for a reserved table. For Thursday showings, tickets are $15 for general admission and $20 for a reserved table. For more information, visit the Gold Hill Hotel Web site at www.goldhillhotel.net.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the Gold Hill Hotel at (775) 847-0111.

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