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2017 Oregon Shakespeare Festival Plays: The Outlook

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2017 Oregon Shakespeare Festival Plays: The Outlook

This month is when the general public can start buying tickets for 2017 Oregon Shakespeare Festival plays. Frequently I am asked about what I know and think about the upcoming plays. I can’t predict the future (wouldn’t that be nice!). I try to see all plays when they are in preview, and then write reviews; however sometimes the word quickly gets out about which one are the ‘don’t miss’ plays, then the tickets are hard to get. I think next year will be no exception.

The past can frequently predict the future

I can share with you a remarkably consistent pattern I’ve noticed over the last 15 years. Every season there are more than a few plays nearly every guest loves. Most of the time those plays are the new(er) plays, often those produced in the Thomas theater, and usually plays with social justice themes. I don't think this pattern will be any different next year. Thus I look forward to seeing these 2017 Oregon Shakespeare Festival plays: Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, and Off the Rails. Personally, I have loved every play August Wilson has written, and I am a fan of poetry, so in addition to the 'modern' plays, I eagerly await Unison. Furthermore, given how well done 2016's Richard II was, I think the two Henrys are going to be in that ‘don’t miss’ category. Jeffrey King, who played Henry Bolingbrooke in Richard II, will continue with his same character into the Henrys. I am really looking forward to seeing the History plays. Three of the Festival's accomplished and popular actors, Danforth Comins, Rodney Gardiner, and Armando Durán, are leads in Julius Caesar. Given current political events, the subtext in this play will no doubt evoke more powerful reactions than other past Julius Caesar plays. I am interested in seeing what OSF will do with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. At first I had reservations – Disney! Really? But since then I have heard that instead of strictly controlling the production to be a replica of every other Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, OSF has been given free rein to produce it how they want. Which is the reason OSF’s write up says: “Think you know the Disney musical? Think again. Expect originality, surprises and ingenuity in OSF’s gorgeous and powerful new rendition.” Personally, I hope OSF will evoke more the original 18th century version. Based on current reservations for the Chanticleer Inn B&B, it already looks like we’re going to be busy next year. Yet, there are still plenty of rooms available during the 2017 summer months and more during the early and late part of the season.

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The Culinarium: a New Store in Town

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The Culinarium, the Latest Kitchen Store in Town

[caption id="attachment_5447" align="aligncenter" width="375"]The Culinarium on Main St. Ashland The Culinarium on Main St. Ashland[/caption] The Culinarium with an apt byline "A Delicious Discovery" is Ashland's the latest cook store with gourmet foods and high-end kitchenware. At 270 E. Main St, this store is conveniently located. In fact, Chanticleer Inn guests will pass this store every time they walk to the Festival's plays. While there are other stores for small kitchen gadgets, many of us have missed having a store completely dedicated to the kitchen and cooking -- with much more inventory. The owners, Constance and David Jesser, are very knowledgeable about all their products and about cooking. After the crazy holiday rush, starting sometime in the Spring 2017, Constance will be conducting cooking classes. For more information and place to shop online for those gourmet foods go to their website: here! The Ashland Locals Guide wrote an article about the shop, and the owners Constance and David.  

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My Garden, a Poem

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My Garden, a Poem by Ellen

Last October 2016, Gini Grossenbacher conducted a writing workshop at the Chanticleer Inn B&B. I was kindly invited to join the other ladies in the morning writing exercises. In one of those exercises, Gini asked us to choose a place; and then given 15 minutes to write about it. It will come to no surprise to some, I chose my garden at the B&B. Here is the poem:

My Garden

I garden alone, but it’s not a solitary task. Plants talk in long sentences that stretch over seasons and years. Gardeners must adjust their attention span. Scrub Jays repeatedly dart in and out of the hedge. Note to self, prune carefully near that spot. Pine cone cobs scattered and tossed about, squirrels make more work. Invasive carpeting of weeds. I can never remember its Latin name, but appropriately it rhythms with ‘damn it’. by Ellen Campbell, October 2016
Gini Grossenbacher is a wonderful teacher, published writer, historical novelist in 19th century San Francisco and WWII spies. For more information on Gini go to www.ginigrossenbacher.com

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Delgani String Quartet

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The Delgani String Quartet Debuts in Southern Oregon

The acclaimed Delgani String Quartet with Rickie Birran of "Man of Words Theatre Company" combines music and literature in a three collaborative performances: December 15, 16, and 17, 2016. [For locations, please see below.] The performances will couple texts by John Milton, Lewis Carroll, Robert Browning, and William Blake  with new music by the renowned composer Paul Safar. Rounding out the program is Beethoven's C major Razumovsky Quartet. Paul Safar
  • Satan Speaks from Paradise Lost
  • The Walrus and the Carpenter
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin
  • The Tyger
Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59 No. 3 [caption id="attachment_5422" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Delgani String Quartet and Man of Words Theatre Delgani String Quartet and Man of Words Theatre[/caption]

Delgani String Quartet and Man of Words Theatre in three Southern Oregon performances:

Hill Violin Shop Date: December 15 @ 7:30 pm Location: Kings Highway, Medford OR 97501 SOLD OUT Inquire at (541) 621-7091 Paschal Winery Date: December 16 @ 7 pm Location: 1122 Suncrest Rd Talent, OR 97540 Tickets at the door $20 and $5 students Newman UMC Date: December 17 @ 3 pm Location: 132 NE B St., Grants Pass, OR 97526 Tickets at the door $20 and $5 students

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Veggie Frittata Cups with Polenta

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Veggie Frittata Cups with Polenta, pages 151 and 140

Veggie frittata cups are really easy to do and they present so well. Serve them nestled in a pool of creamy cheesy polenta or in a colorful hash; or serve with a side of roasted potatoes or zucchinis. The selection of vegetables, meats, and cheese, as well as the amounts, can vary depending on the season and your taste. Pictured below, each frittata cup has a medium-small tomato (pulp scooped out) stuffed with other vegetable and cheese. Inserted in the tomato is a broccoli floret.   [caption id="attachment_5394" align="aligncenter" width="241"]Veggie frittata Cups Nestled in Polenta Vegetable Frittata Cups Nestled in Creamy Polenta[/caption]

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Prose-Poetry Creative Writing Workshop by Gini Grossenbacher

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Prose-Poetry Creative Writing Workshop by Gini Grossenbacher

In October 2016, Gini Grossenbacher conducted a Prose-Poetry Creative Writing Workshop at the inn. She is a very encouraging teacher. Gini would assign several short writing exercises each day. When Gini asked us to find an object and write about it, one of the attendees, Judy, was inspired by a vase in the Jardin room. She wrote a cute short called “Antique TV”, for your reading pleasure here it is:

"Antique TV" by Judy Vaughn

I knew I would take it to the Country Roads Antique Show audition if I ever got the chance. The day the wildly popular TV show came to Stockton, I packed it up in bubble wrap and a recycled Amazon box. What was it? A vase, I guess. Some sort of pottery piece glazed and fired in greens and browns. The line stretched around the gym at UOP. I shamelessly gawked at a woman pushing a merchandise cart with a Homeboy Depot label peeling off the handle. A hideous --- oh---I mean abstract sculpture of black wrought iron poked through the sides like the limbs of a spider monkey bent on escape. Was that a hat or a lampshade held high by the man who wore Tommy Hilfiger with pink socks? The volunteer at the registration desk directed me to the China/Pottery table. I added my treasure, stripped of its wrapping, to the Havilland demitasse set I’d seen last week on E-Bay, several fruit bowls and a collection of plump black animals. Native American or netsuke? The curator’s eyes widened as she fingered the ridges of the tulip-shaped opening of my piece. She touched the frog on the base. A suppressed giggle escaped her as she traced its tiny hands. “I need to show this to a colleague,” she said. “Put on your make up, honey.” She sent me to a curtained off area of the gym labeled Green Room. “Wait there until the director calls you.” A frisson of cool tingle swept over me. I was going to be on the TV show. The furry microphone brushed my forehead. Would the lights make me sweat? The curator preened as the director counted down the scene to Action. “This wonderful pot glazed in earth tones has a funnel-shaped opening that gives us a clue to its use. The palm leaf frieze around the bottom hints at a Greek origin. What’s amazing are the figures on the base, the cunning frogs and these grey and tan figures. Do you know what they are?” She thrust the microphone into my face. I stammered. “Flower buds?” “No ... my colleague and I think they are copied from fourteenth century motifs from the Wee Wee province of China. Can I ask how much you paid for it? I pictured the pot on the shelf of the nightstand in the B and B in Ashland, Oregon. “Uh.” I tried to think of a polite way to describe concealing it in the underwear section of my suitcase the day I checked out. The curator didn’t wait for my answer. She upended the vase, “It’s signed,” she said and that’s really unusual in a piece like this.” A dramatic pause ensued before the reveal. “Do you know how much it’s worth?” “A few hundred dollars, I guess. It’s been on the shelf over our Steinway for several years.” “Well. I’ve shown this to my colleague from Kristi’s....See this oval sticker above the maker’s mark?” “The one that says Made in China,” I asked? “Yes, you can see it’s gold leaf, one of the first occasions for such a adhesive appendage. The piece itself is most likely a chamber pot, possibly a cuspidor. Auction value now is astronomical. You should have it insured for as much as your Steinway.” “Wow ... That’s amazing...I had no idea!
 

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South Pacific at the Camelot Theatre

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South Pacific

"South Pacific" Music by Richard Rodgers Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II

Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning novel; Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener

November 30, 2016 - January 8, 2017 at the Camelot

[caption id="attachment_4930" align="aligncenter" width="488"]South Pacific, the Musical South Pacific[/caption]

About South Pacific, the Musical

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Libretto and Best Score! Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war.

Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a mature French planter, Emile. When she learns that the mother of his children was an island native, she is unable to turn her back on the prejudices with which she was raised and refuses Emile's proposal of marriage.

Meanwhile, the courageous Lt. Joe Cable denies himself the fulfillment of a future with an innocent Tonkinese girl with whom he's fallen in love, based on the same fears that haunt Nellie. When Emile is recruited to accompany Joe on a dangerous mission that may claim both their lives, Nellie must choose between her prejudices or unconditional love and acceptance. Musical numbers include I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa' My Hair, There Ain't Nothing Like a Dame and Some Enchanted Evening.

About Camelot Theatre

Camelot Theatre Company is located in Talent, Oregon in the beautiful Rogue Valley, just a few miles north of Ashland. The Camelot has a wonderful new state-of-the-art building, the James M. Collier Theatre. Here is the Mission Statement:

To be of service to the Rogue Valley, Oregon, by producing high-quality affordable plays, musicals and musical events while providing a supportive environment for professional and amateur theatre artists and technicians and inspiring and training adults, teens and children in the theatre arts. You can read a short history of the theatre company if you click here.

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Chamber Music Concert: Gabe Young & Jodi French

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Chamber Music Recital: Oboist Gabe Young and Pianist Jodi French

[caption id="attachment_5344" align="aligncenter" width="286"]Gabe Young and Jodi French Gabe Young and Jodi French[/caption]

Special Recital at SOU Music Recital Hall

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2016 – 7:30PM Maurice Ravel - Sonatine for Oboe and Piano Eugene Goossens - Concerto for Oboe, Op. 45 Camille Saint-Saëns - Sonata for Oboe and Piano in D Major, Op. 166 Jules Massenet - Meditation from Thaïs
“Gabe Young is not only a master of his instrument but an artist of taste and discernment. The sound of his oboe is, for lack of a better word, angelic. There were moments, particularly in the Adagio, when the music seemed to transcend even that exquisite oboe sound, emerging instead as pure, disembodied human expression. Young created a breathtaking spell…” Patrick Rucker, The Washington Post
 

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Gerry O’Beirne at Grizzly Peak Winery

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Gerry O'Beirne Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gerry O'Beirne is a renowned singer, songwriter, and guitarist (6 string guitar, tiple and ukulele, slide guitar, among others). He grew up in Ireland and West Africa. He currently resides near Dingle in Co Kerry. His own compositions blend the passion found in traditional music with the freshness of contemporary song. His album, Half Moon Bay, was cited as one of the 12 best releases of the year by Performing Songwriter magazine and was chosen as on of Folkworld's top Ten Albums of the year. [caption id="attachment_5375" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Gerry O'Beirne Gerry O'Beirne[/caption] The performance will take place in Grizzly Peak's barrel room. Wine and Irish stew will be available for purchase. Thursday November 17, 2016 at 7:00PM to 9:00PM Admission $20 / $18 for wine club members Tickets will soon be available at brownpapertickets.com

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Pine Mountain Lodge, A Musical at Oregon Cabaret Theatre

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Pine Mountain Lodge

Tickets $21.00 -35.00 -- November 17 – December 31, 2016

A musical featuring Irving Berlin holiday songs this world premier is a story of a returning World War II veteran who’s been tasked with shutting down his late father’s flagging upstate New York hotel, the Pine Mountain Lodge, discovers that the hotel is haunted by two quarreling ghosts – former lovers and famous dance partners. The ghosts put aside past grievances to convince the young man to put on one last show to save the hotel… [caption id="attachment_4856" align="aligncenter" width="510"]Pine Mountain Lodge Pine Mountain Lodge[/caption] To purchase tickets go to OCT's website. The Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashland is popular with locals as well as visitors. OCT presents musicals, revues, local musicians, and comedies. The shows are presented in an elegant, theatre-dinner club setting in a restored, church and is on the National Historic register. The original church stained glass is still intact, as are the balconies.. Located in the heart of downtown Ashland, near the Chanticleer Inn B&B. A block from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Cabaret is located at the corner of First and Hargadine Street.

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