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NPR Arts & Life

For Shakespeare's 450th Birthday, Here's An Unusual Tempest

An image from The Smith Center's production of Shakespeare's <em>The Tempest </em>in Las Vegas.
An image from The Smith Center's production of Shakespeare's <em>The Tempest </em>in Las Vegas.

Shakespeare is 450 today! And after all these years, The Tempest is still so magical it can make Teller talk.

A new Las Vegas production of Shakespeare's final fantasy has a creative team as splendid as the show itself. It's co-directed by master magician Teller (the silent half of Penn and Teller) and playwright Aaron Posner ( My Name is Asher Lev) with music by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan and movement by Pilobolus.

The production at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts follows the 2008 Macbeth Teller and Posner directed in Red Bank, N.J. and Washington — a production that, according to The New York Times, "oozes, drips and squirts forth a river of crimson horror."

This Tempest closes April 27 and then plays May 11-June 15 at the Smith Center's producing partner, the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.

"You will not want to miss this piece of history past and present," wrote Robin Leach — yes, that Robin Leach — in the Las Vegas Sun. And if you need a refresher course on Teller's particular genius, check out this mesmerizing 2012 Esquire profile.

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