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A guest reviews “Animal Crackers”


Animal Crackers”

Karen’s review of Animal Crackers:

Although I may have seen the Marx Brothers film by this name, I have no independent memory of it.  I was assured by a fellow theatre-goer that the play we saw that night bore only the faintest resemblance to the movie. I settled in to enjoy two and a half hours of pure entertainment by a cast with boundless energy and enthusiasm for the material and its historical importance in the American theatrical tradition. And, they hit every single nail squarely on its head.

The first visual joke got the audience in the mood; the second had us smiling.  The third followed quickly behind but the fourth, entirely unexpected and “over the top,” brought forth a roar of approval.  The jokes never stopped coming and the audience never stopped laughing. Read More

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Ellen

Posted on:
September 7th, 2012

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A guest review of “Party People”


Party People”

Karen’s Review of Party People:

As the second of this season’s plays in the OSF American Revolutions: The United States History Project, “Party People” struck closer to my personal experience than had “All the Way” the day before. Not only because I lived in close proximity through the events portrayed, but also because a colleague of mine had been shot by a member of the Black Panthers, in spite of her role as one of their defense attorneys.

The production (it is so much more than a “play”) was conceived, created and performed by UNIVERSES, a dozen actors/singers/dancers/composers/political activists who incorporate all of these skills into their work.  The result is a multi-media, multi-emotional experience. Read More

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Ellen

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September 7th, 2012

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MMC”, a guest review of an OSF Play


Medea Macbeth Cinderella”

Karen’s Review of MMC:

This is the fourth iteration of a play-making process Bill Rauch began 30 years ago. At that time it was presented in his dormitory basement, then as an Actor’s Gang-Cornerstone production in 1998 in Los Angeles before opening the Yale Repertory Theatre’s season in 2002.

And, it is a fascinating idea.  Take three plays, one from each of “the three great populist movements of Western drama” – classical Greek tragedy, Elizabethan drama and the American musical – and meld them together into one theatrical experience.  Apparently, Rauch placed the scripts side by side and discovered a “synchronicity” of themes and events.  They all dealt with the same things: ambition, magic, transformation, the parent/child relationship, and the role of women in male-dominated societies. “Medea Macbeth Cinderella” pays homage to these themes and the three historical genres. Read More

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Ellen

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September 7th, 2012

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All the Way, LBJ!


Another review from Karen, this one on Robert Schenkkan’s play “All the Way.”

Robert Schenkkan’s play about Lyndon Baines Johnson takes place during the first year of his Presidency, immediately after the assassination of Jack Kennedy in 1963.  The production went into rehearsal at the same time as the release of Robert Caro’s fourth volume of his LBJ biography, covering about the same time period.  The play focuses less on the events of that year, and much more on the interactions between the President and the major players in those events: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, Governor George Wallace, and Senators Dick Russell, Everett Dirksen, and Hubert Humphrey. Read More

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Ellen

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September 7th, 2012

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Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa: a guest review


My dear friend and long-standing guest Karen writes this review of Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa.  My opinions are in the comments.

Maybe it was the stress of worrying whether or not the fog was going to lift early enough for my Monterey-SFO flight to land in time for me to make my 1/2 hour connection to the plane to Medford.  Or, perhaps it was the cab driver telling me that the audience for this show was “leaving in droves” at the intermission.  Or, it could have been the other guests at my favorite bed and breakfast remarking how astonished they were that OSF would present a play that still needed so much work. Read More

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Ellen

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September 7th, 2012

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Camelot Theatre: The Best Man, 10/3/12 thru 10/28/12


THE BEST MAN October 3 – 28, 2011
by Gore Vidal
This Tony Award winning play examines the two front runners for their party’s presidential nomination. Ex-Secretary of State William Russell is a wit and a scholar with high principles but no integrity in the bedroom. Joseph Cantwell is a ruthless and hard-driving young man, a dirty fighter who will let no scruples stand in the way of his ambitions. Both vie for the support of ex-President Art Hockstader, a man who loves politics for its own sake, admires a rough-and-tumble battle more than a chivalrous one, and is determined to have the final say in selecting his party’s candidate.
“Vidal’s story is…suspenseful, funny…fresh!” — Associated Press.
Camelot Theater, a semi-professional company renowned for performing high-quality plays, musicals, and musical events year round.  Ashland Oregon theater

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Ellen

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September 3rd, 2012

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Play Reading “8”, 8/5/12


Oregon Shakespeare Festival Play Reading “8” by Dustin Lance Black

Sunday, August 5, 12 at 8:30 pm in the New Theatre

8″ is based on court transcripts and interviews and chronicles the historic 2010 federal court case Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, which sought to overturn Proposition 8. The reading has renewed relevance in light of  the recent decision on February 7, 2012, when a federal appeals court overturned Proposition 8, ruling that Californians took away a right from a minority group without justification when they approved the 2008 ban on same-sex marriage. The reading is among those sponsored by American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact.

All tickets for this reading are $5.00 and will be donated to AFER. To order tickets, click the date of the play reading on calendar to the right or call 800–219-8161.

Cast lists for the readings will be posted when information is available.

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Ellen

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July 5th, 2012

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Ashland Contemporary Theatre at Paschal’s


“Once in a Blue Moon” Ashland Contemporary Theatre presents 3 outrageously funny comedies, June 9 & 10

Usually Ashland Contemporary Theatre puts on play readings, but this time their production is three comedies by established writers out at Paschal Winery on June 9th and 10th.

The highlight play is “Wanda’s Visit” by Christopher Durang.  Imagine when Wanda, Jim’s hot, but shady ex-high school sweetheart, shows up for an extended stay, what hilarious mayhem ensues that rocks his stable marriage.

Directed by Evalyn Hansen, the cast includes: Lyda Woods (as Wanda), Maria Ciamaichelo, Daureen Collodel, Eric Epstein, Joe Suste, Jesse Lawson, and Christopher Morton.

The other two plays range from witty and poignant to absurdly hysterical.

Performances are at Paschal Winery in Talent (1122 Suncrest Rd.  Take exit 21 and follow the signs.):

Saturday, June 9, 2012 at 3pm and 8pm  and  Sunday, June 10 at 3pm at Paschal Winery in Talent.
Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Paddington Station in Ashland and Grocery Outlet in Medford or online at www.ashlandcontemporarytheatre.org.  Reservations: 541–646-2971.

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Ellen

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May 30th, 2012

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Hip-Hop Open Mic, 5/7/12


Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents on May 7, 12 at the Black Swan Theater: Lawson Inada, 2006–2010 Oregon Poet Laureate.

Get down like Shakespeare, flip language and be a rhyme master”

In order to explore the intersection of nexthetics (the term for hip-hop and spoken word aesthetics created at 2003 Ford Foundation Future Aesthetics conference) and classical theatre the Oregon Shakespeare Festival brings together expert practitioners and connects with community based performers. We hold educational lectures and workshops, program nexthetics based performers in the Green Show, and sponsor spoken word events.

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Ellen

Posted on:
April 30th, 2012

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SOU: Lucky Stiff, 5/17 thru 6/3/12


Lucky Stiff
Book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, music by Stephen Flaherty
What would you do to fulfill the conditions of a six million dollar inheritance? Harry Witherspoon finds out that the conditions of his late uncle’s will include taking his dead body on a trip to Monte Carlo. He dutifully visits all the sights in town with Uncle Anthony, only to find that he’s being followed by three mysterious strangers. This delightful musical farce received the Richard Rodgers Award in 1988.
Director: Dennis Smith
For more details http://www.sou.edu/theatre/patronres.html Ashland Oregon Theater

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Ellen

Posted on:
April 17th, 2012

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