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Shakespeare in the Park returns with "The Tempest," starring Renee Elise Goldsberry

Shakespeare in the Park returns with "The Tempest"
Shakespeare in the Park returns with "The Tempest" 02:03

NEW YORK -- Free Shakespeare in Central Park is back this weekend with a Public Theater show that will bid a temporary farewell to the Delacorte Theater as it currently stands.

A major renovation gets ushered in after the production is over.

In rehearsal for a new 90-minute musical version of "The Tempest," Shakespeare's words are delivered with fiery gusto by Tony Award winner Renee Elise Goldsberry, who CBS New York's Dave Carlin caught up with backstage.

"I have an opportunity to make a Prospero a mother when Prospero is written to be a father ... and she is filled with rage and vengeance," Goldsberry said. "She has an opportunity to use all of this sorcery, magical powers that she's developed on this island ... and enact her revenge ... The music is pop, and it's rock, and there's some folk in there. It kind of reminds me of what I loved about 'Hamilton,' honestly."

Goldsberry's work in "Hamilton" earned her the Tony and the freedom to pick projects she loves.

She says she was drawn to "The Tempest" for its new music and lyrics by Benjamin Velez, direction by Laurie Woolery and because it is a Public Theater "Public Works" project, featuring everyday New Yorkers pulled from all five boroughs.

"Almost 90 people in this production, the majority of them are people that are not full-time professional actors," Goldsberry said. "My children are in this production ... I just get to do it with them."

The timing of this production is historic, says Kyra Sims, who plays French horn in the "Tempest" band.

"This is the last big production before they start renovating," she said.

"So this production will be the last production in the theater in this incarnation. In 2025, the Public will be back in the Delacorte Theater, and I'm excited to see what it looks like," Goldsberry said.

"The Tempest," free to the public, runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 3 in Central Park.

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