PROSPERO’S LONELINESS. The New Yorker summary of the current production of THE TEMPEST says: “In this production, Patinkin doesn’t seem to connect with the other actors or with the text; he is isolated in the part. One suspects that he less an actor than a monologuist, interested mostly in his song of the self.” The summary is based on an interesting review by Hilton Als. I have always thought of Prospero as a lonely man, because his obsession with magical learning (scholarship) has led him to turn away from society and because he has been isolated with his daughter on a desert island. Other than his daughter, whom he loses to her lover Ferdinand, Prospero’s only companion is not a human—it is the sprite Ariel. I went to see Mandy Patinkin’s Prospero with the expectation of seeing an isolated figure.

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