We've been preparing for Hurricane Irene by...
...buying bottled water.
...storing tap water.
...buying non-perishables (crackers, canned goods, etc.)
...trying to get caught up on laundry.
...accounting for our batteries, flashlights and emergency radio.
...trying to remember to pray for affected communities.
...finishing our errands early.
...attending a performance of The Tempest.
We've heard, and made, way too many tempest-themed jokes. The truth, however, is that I rank this performance as one of my top, theater-going experiences.
The show took place at sunset on a rooftop in Brooklyn, the Empire State Building in the background. The stage fully utilized the sloping, multilevel rooftop, with skylights underfoot and an almost disconcertingly, clear sky above. With two dozen audience members and the cast so close that I feared that I would inadvertently trip one, the experience was intimate. The cast did not betray that intimacy. From a pared down script, the actors held the audience captive for just shy of two hours.
Since I tend to value vetted tradition over risky innovation, I sat down with reserved expectations, but I arose thoroughly enchanted by the carefully modernized interpretation, dynamic staging and engaging performances.
I don't expect such careful treatment from Irene.