Many of you might know that last year I was working on a video project for the Ashland’s Bed and Breakfast Network. In June 2012, we obtained a grant from the City of Ashland to produce a travel video. We are very pleased with the work JOMA films did for us! Hope you enjoy.
A Day Trip on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trail
Yesterday, friends and I spent an afternoon in Jacksonville. This is my first time exploring the Jacksonville Woodlands trail system — loved it!
Jacksonville, a darling historic town, is less than 30 minutes from Ashland. Each time I visit it seems to get better.
The shops are fun to poke around in, but in deference to my [male] friend, instead of antique, toy, and cooking shops, we went for a quick hike through the Jacksonville Woodlands trail system.
The trails switch back and forth above the Britt Festival. Any number of trail heads are easily accessed near downtown. The hillside is full of native Madrones, Oaks, and lots of little native wildflowers. Spring is the best time to see the wildflowers. The trail is well shaded and would be a great respite from the summer heat.
Increasingly there are wine tasting rooms cropping up in downtown proper … recommended by many is Quady North on California St.
One of my favorite eateries is C St. Bistro (closed Sundays).
Shade Garden sans Deer!
This is the third growing season without constant deer predation, finally the shade garden plants are bravely leafing out!
In the past the poor hosta never had two leaves at a time, the deer nibbled the leaves off as fast as the hosta would produce them. I always had a vision of what this section of the garden would look like and now it’s beginning to come to fruition (or is that leaftion?)
Ashland’s Chautauqua Square on the corner of Main and Pioneer was abuzz with a different and refreshing look this afternoon.
A gang of tuxedo’ed young men were rambunctiously and cheerfully hanging out late this afternoon in Chautauqua Square – displacing the usual scruffy panhandling denizens.
While walking by, I complimented them on their “upgraded” look. One apparently felt obligated to panhandle and asked if he could bum a cigarette. They all happily lined up for me to take their photo!
A Bed and Breakfast Garden
I love this time of the year in the Chanticleer Inn bed and breakfast garden.
The “rhodies”, dogwood, lupine, Japanese irises, and poppies are all blooming!
Late spring in this bed and breakfast garden doesn’t last long, but it does make lasting memories.
by Pierre Corneille, adapted by Tony Kushner at the Center Square Theatre
Award winning playwright Tony Kushner creates “The Illusion” lush layers of illusion in this tale of a father seeking the help of a magician in his search for his long-banished son. Based loosely on L’Illusion Comique written by Pierre Corneille in 1636, the play is filled with conjured visions, unlikely transformations and unexpected twists of time and fate.
For performance days and more details go to SOU theater department
Music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty at the Center Stage Theatre
The 2004 winner of Tony’s triple crown of Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. Avenue Q is a coming-of-age comedy where the real world defines the facts of life. Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers move over as eleven wacky puppets and three humans enact this zany, all too real, insightful extravaganza. Intended for mature audiences.
For performance days and more details go to SOU theater department
Eclectic Music Ashland Oregon
Ellis Paul plays live music Ashland Oregon, he could be the most mainstream-friendly folk songwriter to emerge from Boston since Tom Rush. He has won an unprecedented 14 Boston Music Awards, sung at Fenway Park for the Red Sox, The Boston Garden for the Celtics and even had the mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino, proclaim it “Ellis Paul Day in Boston” on July 9th, 2010 when Ellis celebrated his 20th year in making music.
The Unfortunates is a world premiere, created by Jon Beavers, Ramiz Monsef, Ian Merrigan, and Casey Hurt; additional material by Kristoffer Diaz. Directed by Shana Cooper.
A review by Angela Allen
The Unfortunates: Edgy or over the Edge?
Full disclosure: I love edgy theater. Not that OSF doesn’t do Neil Simon or August Wilson up right, or even Shakespeare in period dress, but I prefer the small-theater, risk-prone productions.
So The Unfortunates, playing at the newly named Thomas Theatre, wasn’t a huge stretch for me, but it could be for many. (As one playgoer, who prides himself on enthusiasm for works by Chekhov, Strindberg, et al, said, “the whole thing was entirely unfortunate – the music, the acting, the play.”)
To be sure, the play is anything but linear, pretty darn plot-less (minus a love story between Big Joe and armless prostitute Rae), and fluid about time. So, if you prefer a story spooling out logically to an avalanche of metaphors about suffering, this play will impress you as barely cohesive, experimental as hell, and moodier than most.
And here’s the deal that contributes to that feeling: The Unfortunates is a collaborative effort among a number of actors-turned-playwrights-turned-musicians, all of whom play large parts in the play, and all of whom are fabulous actors and musicians (if not playwrights).
The play/musical is mercifully 90 minutes short, without intermission. It begins in a prison camp, travels to a New Orleans-style bar and flirts with the underworld.
The piece brushes with war, the plague, hell in all versions, and misfortune of all stripes – including armlessness and addictions. Its characters are bigger-than-life comic-book versions, from the bar “madame” to onetime bar-owner King Jesse, to dazed and bedazzled Big Joe with his over-sized craps-throwing hands, to pitiful songbird Rae whose wings are clipped. Everyone endures a miserable life, but without the trajectory or development of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables.
Still, if I wasn’t wild about the show, I liked the music. You’ll hear strains of the blues, rap, rock and spirituals, including good old Amazing Grace and St. James Infirmary, with which the play begins and ends. (Keep in mind the song’s first line is, “It was down in Old Joe’s barroom” and the play might make some sense.)
I doubt The Unfortunates will go to Broadway or to off-Broadway, but I admire OSF for taking risks and producing such a wild and woolly ensemble piece.
– Angela Allen is a Portland-based journalist, photographer and poet, who drinks in as many plays as she can when visiting Ashland and staying at the Chanticleer.
Ashland New Plays Festival presents …
A new play Quietus by Richard Manley, read/performed on Monday April 15, ’13, Unitarian Church 87 4th St. Ashland.
From perspectives of three characters: a medical researcher, an entrepreneur, and a bio-ethicist, the play explores the ability, and ramifications therein, to keep a body functioning after brain death.
Ashland New Plays Festival tickets are $15 for general admission. Call 541 488‑7995, or purchase tickets at Paddington Station or the Music Coop. For more information go to their website.