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Two ‘Tempest’s, Both Alike

Shakespearean indignity.

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Dueling Tempest-for-tots productions have let slip the dogs of war. Just before the March 9 performance of the for-kids musical Tempest Toss’d by the Millennium Talent Group, the show was canceled. The rub? MTG’s principals, Sarah “Rosie” Rosenberg and Louis Reyes Cardenas, were battling with Daniel Neiden, the show’s composer, over his score: Neiden said that if they didn’t pay him, he’d pull the music. They didn’t bite; he walked—and brought about 30 MTG players with him. Now they’ve become the Republic Theatre Company and brought Neiden’s Tempest to a new teapot. There have been two readings at the Perry Street Theatre; more are scheduled at the Public. Neiden, perhaps too full of the milk of human kindness, is paying each cast member $20 (actors in MTG are required to kick in $200 a month to be part of the company). Rosenberg calls their project, premiering this summer, “plagiarism.” Rosenberg and Cardenas scrambled to find a new cast and music. They’ve lined up Anna Chlumsky, child star of My Girl, to fill the role of Ariel. Previews begin in early May, so the show will go on—twice.


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