Category Archives: theater review

Revisiting OSF’s Timon…

[BUMPED/REPUBLISHED from AUGUST — and not just because I ordered my tix for next summer yesterday…]

This is the second capsule review (of five) for the plays I saw last week in Ashland as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2016 season. Full reviews will be in the podcast on Sunday.

Now: Timon of Athens.

Timon of Athens -- 2016 OSF
Timon of Athens — 2016 OSF

  Continue reading Revisiting OSF’s Timon…

Bloody Sunday Bloody: A tale of two Shakespeares

OK, yesterday was an interesting day Bard-wise. The British Council’s Shakespeare Lives initiative presented a BBC broadcast and a worldwide internet streamed delivery of the Shakespeare’s Globe production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And last night, I took in the Theatricum Botanicum’s production of Titus Andronicus here in southern California.

Compare and contrast, as the ol’ English teacher in me might say…

Continue reading Bloody Sunday Bloody: A tale of two Shakespeares

Podcast 133: Theater Reviews from Oregon Shakespeare Festival

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This week’s podcast takes us off the beaten path of play-centric discussions and heads north to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and its five (count ’em) Bard-composed productions–The Winter’s Tale, Timon of Athens, Hamlet, Richard II, and Twelfth Night. Plus, I want to address some other, not-so-cool stuff happening in Ashland.

Continue reading Podcast 133: Theater Reviews from Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Review (and more): Richard III by Independent Shakespeare Company

OK, I’m late to the party on this one.

Last night, my wife Lisa and I saw part of the final weekend (yes, Wednesday is now a part of the weekend in Griffith Park, Los Angeles) of Independent Shakespeare Company’s FREE production of Richard III. If I say it was worth the price that would sound snarky, but the truth of the matter is that in the run-up to their two-production summer season, I had donated a fairly large chunk of change, and then at the end of the show last night, dropped another $20 into their donation “bucket for ducats” for good measure.

David Melville as Richard III for Independent Shakespeare Company (photo courtesy StageAndCinema.com)

And yes, the show was that good.

With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let me count the ways (in an abbreviated Top Five listing, as I’ve got some Macbeth-related fish to fry later in this post):

Continue reading Review (and more): Richard III by Independent Shakespeare Company

Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Kingsmen Shakespeare Company

OK, here’s the deal: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a summer staple. Almost any region that has more than one Shakespeare outlet will have at least one Midsummer to produce during any given year. There’s a reason for it: it’s popular. It’s light. It’s known.

And when we arrived last night at California Lutheran University for night one of the Kinsgmen Shakespeare Festival production, we saw the evidence. Nearly an hour and a half before the start of the play, the place was packed. I would say the crowd was almost twice as large as for Henry V a few weeks back. Remember, that was a very good production, well-reviewed with great word of mouth, a brilliant concept, and a matinee-handsome Henry. On the other hand, last night was opening night, with no raves to bring in a crowd. Midsummer is a popular play.

That, my friends, is a double-edged sword.

Sure, it’s popular. But it also means people have seen this play dozens of times before. The audience knows (or at least thinks they know) what to expect.

So how do you make the play your own? How do you make it fresh?

Continue reading Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Kingsmen Shakespeare Company