Shawn Kairschner’s production of The Tempest at Villanova University turns Shakespeare right on his head. New to the theater department and fresh from the San Francisco Bay area, Kairschner moves the oft-interpreted classic into a mental institution, where inmates are performing it for an audience. “I always thought of Prospero [the main character] as someone who would put people behind bars if he could,” Kairschner says of his choice. Running Nov. 7-19; this thought-provoking interpretation of Shakespeare’s revenge saga is both “interesting and strange,” says Kairschner, adding that audiences should expect “a forgetting of one plot into the next.” The Tempest tells the story of Prospero, a man tricked by his two-faced brother and banished to a savage desert island. In search of revenge, Prospero conjures a storm that carries his brother and co-conspirators to the same island, where payback, redemption and the eternal struggle for power drive the characters. This modern overhaul includes eight or nine broadly theatrical and musical moments highlighting key scenes. “They came from a discussion of what the magic might be, and we thought of theatrical magic,” says Kairschner. And keep an eye out for surprise passages from the Bard’s other works—a snippet from a Shakespearian sonnet here, a stirring moment from another well-known tragedy there. The director began the long rehearsal process just after Labor Day, with the intention of giving actors leeway with the original text. Vasey Hall, Villanova University. 20-$24. Visit www.theatre.villanova.edu or call (610) 519-7474. —Sarah Schmalbach
Relive 36 fairy tales at the Fashion in Film: Period Costumes for the Screen exhibit on display at Winterthur through Jan. 7. Made possible by Wilmington Trust and the Diane and Harry Levin Foundation, the much-anticipated show features exquisite period costumes worn by Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Nicole Kidman and other Hollywood stars in film adaptations of such classic novels as Dangerous Liaisons, Sense and Sensibility and A Room with a View. Highlights include Barry-more’s angelic, cream silk gown from Ever After, with its netted wings and embroidered metalwork flowers and pearls; and Elizabeth Taylor’s two-piece purple silk Aida gown, which puts on elegant airs with its pannier-style bustle and brightly colored stones in gold mounts. Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Graves and West Galleries, Route 52, Winterthur, Del. (302) 888-4600, www.winterthur.org. —S.S.
Who Do You Love
The Philly area has always had a soft spot for the Who. Back in the ’70s, our FM stations were among the first to embrace the band’s now-ubiquitous classic-rock epic “Baba O’Riley” (aka “Teenage Wasteland”). And from what many of us can remember, the Who’s 1982 “farewell” concert at the long-since-demolished JFK Stadium was a blast. For more recent proof, simply refer to the group’s packed show at Wachovia Center in September and its sure-to-be-packed second concert Nov. 25. No one seems deterred by the fact that, with bassist John Entwistle’s passing in 2002, the Who has been reduced to its core elements—songwriter and guitarist Pete Townshend (the brains) and lead singer Roger Daltrey (the brawn). Perhaps that’s because the band’s latest work, a “mini-opera” called Wire & Glass, features some of its most bracing music in decades. “Long Live Rock,” indeed. 7:30 p.m. $52-$202. 3601 S. Broad St. (215) 336-3600. www.ticketmaster.com. —Hobart Rowland
For a complete listing of October events, see our Calendar.