On Saturday night, my wife Lisa and I (and my wife deserves kudos for allowing pretty much every summer “date” to be a Shakespeare night) checked out Shakespeare by the Sea’s touring production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in Encino, California.
All right. Yesterday, I ran a review for Titus Andronicus by Independent Shakespeare Company, currently running in repertory with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Griffith Park (for freakin’ free, people!).
I urged people to see it, and I provided some spoiler-free rationale why. Today, I want to discuss some of the aspects of the show that make it for me one of the best I’ve seen from the folks at Indy Shakes. So this is your last warning if you don’t want aspects of this production to be spoiled…
Last night, Lisa and I went down to Los Angeles’ Griffith Park to see Independent Shakespeare Company’s free performance of Titus Andronicus.
For those who have followed this Project, you know how much I love what Indy Shakes does. I dig their diversity and inclusion, in terms of casting, staffing, use of language, and audience outreach. They are pretty much the antithesis of what I hate: Museum Shakespeare… their playfulness with the text–unafraid to make comic and topical references to the crowd–in addition to their use of direct address to, and from within, the audience, make for a wonderful experience that brings 400 year-old texts alive.
And those who know me know that I love this play. I think it’s the work of a brilliant young playwright doing his damnedness to make his audience notice him. And I just find the thing fascinating–thus my use of it in my current Masters thesis…and someday I want to direct the damn beast.
Some might then assume that this would make a positive review of this a fait accompli … a done deal. But with expectations so high, and such investment so personal, the opposite could be a risk.
A couple of nights back, Lisa and I (and two other couples) took a jaunt down to the Federal Bar in North Hollywood to check out Toil and Trouble Burlesque‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Last Sunday, Lisa and I headed down to Los Angeles’ Griffith Park to catch the first half of this summer’s installment of free Shakespeare in the park presented by Independent Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by ISC Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma.
And what we have here is a study in contrasts… Where Coriolanus–a tragedy–was heavy, Midsummer was light. Intense vs fun.
Lisa and I headed down to Los Angeles to catch Henry IV, presented by the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in the Japanese Garden at the Veterans Administration complex in Westwood.
Last Saturday afternoon, I went into the hills of Topanga (midway between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley in lovely southern California) to Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum to catch their production of Coriolanus.
I love summer. Shakespeare blooms all over town (state, country, world).
OK, so I had planned something different for today, but I read something yesterday that I just want to share…