Theater: Isle of Blight

THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare

This production by the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park is silly, vulgar and achingly dull. It is a shameless assault on Shakespeare, couched in the parched emotional idiom of the cool urban disco jitters. If the playgoers had to pay anything for their seats, they would probably storm the box office demanding refunds from Producer Joseph Papp.

The first scene reveals Prospero (Raul Julia) twirling the propeller of a toy helicopter. By seeming Raul Julia design, a real helicopter circled the theater at the opening. The pilot soon flew away, leaving the...

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