“... if you love the Bard, good rock music, The Sopranos or just edgy theater, Pericles is a must-see... It’s good music, good theater and remarkably faithful Shakespeare. It’s the sort of theater one expects to find only in a major metropolis.” – Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing Best of the Bay – Best Theatrical Composer – Joe Popp
Creative Loafing Top 10 Production
About the Play
Pericles – Prince of Tires is based on Shakespeare's play Pericles, Prince of Tyre – shifting in time and space to modern era United States. As La Boheme inspired the creation of RENT and Franz Wedekind's Spring Awakening spawned a new rock musical of the same name, Pericles has taken the basic plot and characters of Shakespeare's original and transported it to a modern mafia setting using a fair amount of humor and an unrelenting rock score.
Perry, “Prince of Tires”, gets caught up in a web of intrigue, incest and the mafia as he tries to balance having a family while also running a “family.” His exploits take him through New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts, while he dodges mob hits, lecherous carnies, multiple storms at sea, and losing his wife and daughter. As his epic journey reaches an end, he learns that saving both his biological family and his mafia family are rooted in truly understanding the value of love, loss and honor.
Pericles – Prince of Tires largely keeps the major plot and structure of Shakespeare's play and in many instances keeps the same character names (i.e. Diana, Marina, etc.) However, this version aims to be not only more accessible to the modern audience, but more relevant.
Theocratic royalty is replaced with underworld royalty, as the plot is spun with both dramatic and comedic elements that audiences will instantly recognize from modern classics like The Godfather and The Sopranos. The only piece of verse remaining from Shakespeare's text is the riddle given to Perry at the top of show, which is a now a song entitled “Viper.”
The creative team spent almost two years developing the show from conception to production, and their work shows. Anyone familiar with the original play will easily see the corollaries; those who aren't won't miss a thing. This version was created to be a standalone experience.