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Michael Stewart

Theater review: 'The Tempest'

Theater review: 'The Tempest'

Conjuring up a brave new world out of magic isn't for amateurs or, as we say today, Muggles. That applies not only to practicing wizards like Prospero in Shakespeare's "The Tempest," but to stage directors in charge of creating theatrical legerdemain that will enthrall an audience and illuminate a 400-year-old text.

In his dreamy, elegant production of Shakespeare's storm-tossed romance at the Old Globe, director Adrian Noble pulls a number of clever ideas out of his hat: introducing Japanese-style bunraku puppets; refashioning several of the play's verse-chants as songs that vaguely evoke British New Wave electronic pop. ("Coming up next on MTV we've got...