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Head Over Heels” a Review

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"Head Over Heels" A Review by Desiree Remick

Play by Jeff Whitty Music and Lyrics by the Go-Go's, Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

7-14-15

[caption id="attachment_4584" align="alignright" width="300"]Head Over Heels John Tufts, the clown, in "Head Over Heels"[/caption] "Head Over Heels", true to its name, throws you head over heels into a world of enchanting musical madness, where entire kingdoms can pack up and hit the road on vacation, where a man disguised as an Amazon can be mistaken for a dainty lady in the dark, where the ability to dance is mandatory, and where everyone embraces her (or his) inner goddess. The play is three hours (with intermission), which in my opinion is a little excessive for a musical – but entertaining the whole way through. It blends old-fashioned themes and archaic language with modern speech and politics for a unique timeless flavor. Someone who struggles to understand Shakespeare and another who abhors twenty-first century lingo could find equal enjoyment in this theatre piece. The play opens in the small kingdom of Arcadia, whose inhabitants are lifted from the 16th century Sir Philip Sidney classic of the same name. Duke Basilius tries his luck with an oracle and receives an unwelcome prophesy in four parts: first, that his eldest daughter will find love, but not with a man; second, that his younger daughter will take a liar to bed; third, that he and his wife will both commit adultery – with the same person, no less; and finally that before the year is out he will have given away his own crown. The good duke, who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, announces his intent to take an extended ‘road trip’ to neighboring Bohemia, in an attempt to thwart his destiny. But of course, you can’t run away from fate. There is drama. There is romance. There is comedy (much of it genuinely funny, which is not something that should be taken for granted). There is a lot of innuendo, breaking of the fourth wall, clever jokes and asides tailored to a knowledgeable audience – plenty of references that will slip past the kids – and don’t forget the music! There’s even a sword fight, which ends in the most unexpected way. I did have some issues with the play as well. It takes an onerously long time to get going (long enough that the actors themselves start joking about it), and the ending also drags a bit. While the message of acceptance is a solid one, there are a few times where the writers allowed their enthusiasm to overflow, which resulted in a few unnecessary scenes and a soliloquy that does not fit with the rest of the script’s tone. Oh, and if your hearing is sensitive or you are prone to getting headaches from too much noise, I advise that you bring a pair of earplugs. The music is quite loud, and I was especially unfortunate in my seating arrangement, which placed me in front of some people who laughed and whistled directly into my ear at every chance. In conclusion, however, I found "Head Over Heels" to be a lot of fun. If you love musicals or wild tales in the vein of Shakespeare, if you are a supporter of gay rights and the LGBT community, or if you just like to have a good time, this play is an evening well spent.

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Mount McLoughlin View from Grizzly Peak

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Mount McLoughlin from Grizzly Peak's Trail Head

[caption id="attachment_4578" align="alignright" width="270"]Mount McLoughlin Mount McLoughlin[/caption] Mount McLoughlin, easily viewable from the Rogue Valley, is a "Fujiyama-esque" lava cone built on top of a composite volcano.  For most years, and sometimes all year round, there usually is snow on top.  Lately however due to the lack of winter rains, this mountain is bare and brown -- like too many other peaks in the Cascades. Its elevation is about 9,495 feet.  When I see that number, I always think, surely a team of burly and determined youths should haul up rocks and dirt to obtain an extra 5 feet so the height would be a nice round 9,500 ft.    

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Hiking in Ashland: the TID Ditch Today

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[caption id="attachment_4564" align="alignright" width="225"]Hiking in Ashland Rocks, Moss and Madrones while hiking in Ashland[/caption]

Hiking in Ashland

It's easy to do hiking in Ashland ... go out the front door and walk uphill a few blocks.  There are wonderful trails and country roads all throughout the "water shed" -- an area that forms the foothills of Mt. Ashland. Today I walked along "the ditch", as the locals refer to the Talent Irrigation District Ditch.  A water way source that comes from the mountain lakes in the Cascades, the ditch was built in the early part of the last century for agricultural use around Ashland.  Now it's a back up source, if/when the water from Mt. Ashland dips too low. I love hiking in Ashland, you can get out into the country within mere minutes. For more information go to the Ashland Trails Organization website

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Cabaret done by Oregon Cabaret Theatre, May 28 — Aug 30, 2015

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Cabaret

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="500"]Cabaret Cabaret[/caption]
Come see Kander & Ebb’s classic musical as you’ve never seen it before as the Oregon Cabaret space is transformed into the Kit Kat Klub in all of its 1930s Berlin decadence. Cabaret plays from May 28 to August 30, 2015 For tickets go to Oregon Cabaret Theatre.

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Wild Flowers on Lower Table Rock Trail

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[caption id="attachment_4515" align="alignright" width="300"]Lower Table Rock Trail flower Cascade Mariposa Lily[/caption]

Lower Table Rock Trail

This is one of my  favorite springtime trails, especially during the mid-week. I like that it goes through a few distinct eco-systems, each with its own set of wild flowers. The trail starts from the car park and briefly goes through oak savannah, where you see meadow/woodland flowers, such as camas, buttercups, mariposa lilies, shooting stars, with white oak trees and chaparral.  The trail then steadily winds through more forested and shady section as it climbs up the side of the mesa.  On top of the mesa, is where you can see the mounded prairie and vernal pool plant communities.  The meadow flowers that form concentric circles around the vernal pools are especially striking.  Depending on how much spring rain we get, the vernal pools might be seen as late as early May.  It's usually better to go in April. [caption id="attachment_4522" align="alignleft" width="220"]Lower table rock trail vernal pools Last of the vernal pools with fields of Gold on top of Lower Table Rock Trail[/caption]     The Table Rock vernal pools are micro-ecosystems of habitat that support a federally threatened species of fairy shrimp and a state endangered plant called dwarf wooly meadowfoam (Limnanthes floccosa ssp. pumila). This plant is endemic to the Table Rocks, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world. You can see Mt. McLoughlin and Mt Ashland from the top of the mesa, as well as the Rogue Valley floor stretching south toward the Siskiyous.

 Directions

From Interstate 5, take Exit #33 heading east one mile on East Pine Street and turn north (left) at the second signal onto Table Rock Road.  Drive 10 miles to Wheeler Road and turn west (left).  The sign for Lower Table Rock Trail is well posted. The trail head is accessible off of Wheeler Road. [caption id="attachment_4517" align="alignright" width="272"]Lower Table Rock trail Arrowleaf balsamroot[/caption]

Details of the Lower Table Rock Trail

The trail is 1.75 miles long. It is a moderately difficult trail approximately .5 miles longer than Upper Table Rock Trail. Lower Table Rock Trail offers interpretive signs for hikers. Water is not available along the trail or at the trailhead. Allow approximately 4 hours for a round trip hike. For those eager to extend their hike, you may enjoy walking along the abandoned airstrip to the edge of the rock. This will add an extra mile to your trip. The south edge of the rock offers a great view of the unique habitat of Kelly Slough. This wetland lies 800 feet below and provides unique habitat for many aquatic birds.

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Lithia Park Nature Walks — Free

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[caption id="attachment_4495" align="alignright" width="300"]Lithia Park Nature Walks Ashland Creek[/caption]

Guided Lithia Park Nature Walks -- Free

From May to September, no matter the weather, a trained docent naturalists will lead a fun, informative and easy 1.5 hour nature walk through Ashland's gem -- Lithia Park. Topics include: trees, flowers, birds, climate, water and history of the park. Days: Sunday, Wednesday and Friday (Saturday in July and August) Time: 10 am Meeting point: park entrance nearest the Plaza And yes, you can do it all!  You can enjoy the Chanticleer breakfast and get to the nature walk on time without being rushed.

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OSF Prologue 2015

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2015 OSF Prologue

OSF Prologue offers up interesting back stories from the 2015 Spring line up:   [caption id="attachment_4511" align="alignnone" width="500"]prologue-cover-spring2015 Christiana Clark as Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing[/caption]  

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Catherine Coulson Teaches Class on “Guys and Dolls” — May 9, 2015

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Catherine Coulson teaches a free class on OSF's  musical "Guys and Dolls"

[caption id="attachment_4408" align="alignright" width="200"]Catherine Coulson Catherine Coulson[/caption] Learn more about the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's musical "Guys and Dolls" from actor extraordinaire Catherine Coulson on May 9, 2015. Each year, a variety of OSF actors teach classes for the Siskiyou Center.  Go to Siskiyou Center's website to see the in-depth theater education programs and other free classes. The classes are free of charge, but please call 541-482-0260 or email nicole@siskiyoucenter.com and let her know if you are attending to arrange for the right amount of seating and refreshments. Location: Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E. Main Street Date: May 9, 2015 Time: 10-11am  

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Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

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"Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden"

[caption id="attachment_4398" align="alignright" width="262"]Hummingbirds Calliope Hummingbirds[/caption] Learn what to do in your garden to attract hummingbirds. Klamath Bird Observatory's month of May "Talk and “Walk"" presented by Laura Fleming, a KBO Board Member Talk: Wednesday, May 6th 6:30-8pm Laura Fleming is opening Wild Birds Unlimited in Medford this spring.  The “Walk” for this event will be an invitation to visit Wild Birds Unlimited at its new location plus a gift certificate offering a discount on purchases. $25 fee is for both the Talk and Walk.  Contact shannonrio@aol.com to sign up.  

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Musical of Musicals (the Musical) Oregon Cabaret Theater

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[caption id="attachment_4386" align="alignright" width="300"]Musical of Musicals Musical of Musicals[/caption]

Musical of Musicals (the Musical!)

Music by Eric Rockwell Lyrics by Joanne Bogart Oregon Cabaret Theatre presents a hilarious satire of musical theater, a single story is transformed into five mini-musicals, each written and composed in the distinctive style of a different master of the musical theater form: Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander & Ebb. Roberta Kent writing for the Mail Tribune says:
"“The Musical of Musicals (the Musical!)” is a delightful spoof on Broadway musicals. Don’t let the way-too-clever title of the Oregon Cabaret Theatre’s new offering put you off. It is a valentine without being saccharine and a tribute without being slavish — and great fun."
Musical of Musicals plays April 8 - May 17, 2015  For show times and ordering tickets go here.  

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