The Tempest (Public)
Closed 2h 45m
The Tempest (Public)

The Tempest (Public) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(29 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Entertaining, Slow, Disappointing, Great staging

About the Show

Part of the Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park, Sam Waterston stars in 'The Tempest,' The Bard’s classic tale of young love, old enemies and the eternal magic of storytelling.

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Member Reviews (29)

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913 Reviews | 928 Followers
Ambitious, Overrated, Over acted, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if love Shakespeare and outdoors theater.

Don't see it if you like classically acted Shakespeare.

888 Reviews | 1017 Followers
Great staging, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like Shakespeare and want to attend a fun outdoor theater event.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of Shakespeare. He's not my cup of tea, but some productions are still able to hold my attention; this isn't one.

650 Reviews | 284 Followers
See charming "mobile unit" version at the public rather than this overwrought one

See it if this is one of Will's must see plays

Don't see it if steps on all of Will's great lines Read more

228 Reviews | 63 Followers
Entertaining, Outdoor theater, Disappointing

See it if As Prospero, Sam Waterston (TV's Law&Order) seems like a good choice. Sadly, he thought he was Polonius (from Hamlet) & lacked the magic.

Don't see it if If U don't like rapid weather changes or risking the threat of a rainout then beware outdoor theater. Skip if standing in line 4 tix grates?

173 Reviews | 49 Followers
Slow, Great writing, Great acting, Great staging, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a Shakespeare staple & enjoy watching interesting characters.

Don't see it if you expect a quality performance by Sam Waterston or are unfamiliar with Shakespeare or even more particularly, this specific plot.

153 Reviews | 43 Followers
Cliched, Confusing, Excruciating, Overrated, Slow

See it if you really have nothing better to do. And you want to get drunk in the park and laugh at how bad this is.

Don't see it if you have little time to see a good show. or you have options to see pretty much anything else.

149 Reviews | 20 Followers
Entertaining, Disappointing, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you love Shakespeare! I thought the entire cast was wonderful, except for (sadly) Sam Waterston, who did some weird line readings.

Don't see it if you hate Shakespeare and outdoor theatre.

108 Reviews | 169 Followers
Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you'd like a lovely night under the stars in Central Park.

Don't see it if you find Shakespeare a little dull unless it's done really, really well.

Critic Reviews (25)

The New York Times
June 16th, 2015

"This 'Tempest' is always lovely to behold and often illuminating. Don’t expect the stormy passions that can move an audience to tearful wonder...Moments of captivating pageantry arrive often enough to distract you from this production’s lack of dramatic urgency...Caliban says at one point, 'sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.” That’s a pretty good description of the sum effect of this softly seductive production."
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Time Out New York
June 16th, 2015

"Shakespeare in the Park has been so solidly enjoyable in recent summers that it’s sad to find one’s mind wandering in boredom, or eyes glazing over at a banal set. Such is the case at Michael Greif’s glossy, static, weakly interpreted 'Tempest', a late romance that offers a director the chance to conjure equal parts magic and melancholy. Instead of either, we get half-baked visuals and Sam Waterston as a vaguely rabbinical exiled duke-turned-wizard Prospero, whose enchanted cloak resembles a talis."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
June 16th, 2015

"Stale choices sap 'The Tempest’s' power...Shakespeare’s uncanny investigation of love and freedom, and the way they are often both conjoined and opposed, cannot strike home unless an audience is at the same time elevated, even thrilled, by what it sees and hears...Perhaps, as is often the case, the company just needed more rehearsal and the designers a bigger budget. Still, we should not excuse too much. Prospero, matchmaking for Ariel, explains that he must make the wooing difficult 'lest too light winning make the prize light.' So, too, 'The Tempest.'"
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Entertainment Weekly
June 16th, 2015

"The simple, effective staging only accentuates the location’s natural beauty...Cirque-esque elements lend a modern touch, and though the majority of the costumes are de rigeur, the two slaves’ bondage-evoking harnesses provide a frisson of excitement...Still, these positives aren’t enough to distract from the production’s hollow center, and even with all of the turmoil, it ends up as more of a light shower than a 'Tempest'."
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June 16th, 2015

"'The Tempest' and Central Park were made for each other, so it must have taken a Herculean effort to drain Shakespeare’s most mysterious play of all its magic. Despite some thunderous sound-and-light effects, this plodding production lacks the power of enchantment...Everything about this earthbound production is presented in such literal terms that even the lyricism of the language is dashed upon the rocks and left to drown."
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The Wall Street Journal
June 16th, 2015

"To see 'The Tempest' acted under a night sky is like hearing 'The Messiah' sung in a cathedral. Whatever the flaws of the production, the sheer rightness of the setting usually makes them forgettable, or at least ignorable, and you come away thinking only of the work...I didn’t agree with all of Mr. Greif’s choices, but I was glad to go along with them, and by evening’s end my cavils felt picayune: Nothing mattered but the truth and beauty of the play itself."
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June 16th, 2015

"The rest of Michal Greif’s production is merely mundane, from hodge-podge costumes, uninspired seascape setting to the mixed bag of acting styles that are the mark of most Central Park Shakespeare productions, sometimes winningly so, sometimes, as here, not...I wish there were more humor in the production; even the comic relief Shakespeare provides with the jester Trinculo and the drunken sailor Stephano seemed to be running on low batteries."
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New York Post
June 16th, 2015

"Shakespeare in the Park is nothing if not wildly uneven. So it goes with the Public Theater’s latest, 'The Tempest,' in which some of the acting is inventive and unexpected, and some is utterly mediocre. Unfortunately, Sam Waterston’s Prospero falls into the latter camp...After an underwhelming storm, there’s a beautiful bit of stage wizardry involving Ariel. It’s a little late, but at least it leaves you believing in magic."
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