“Sweat” Lynn Nottage’s latest play reviewed by the New York Time
“Sweat” is being hailed as one of the best plays of the 2015 Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s season by many of the Chanticleer Inn’s guests and now the New York Times.
Tickets for “Sweat” are going fast, especially on weekends.
Daedalus Project — August 24, 2015
The Daedalus Project, in its 28th year, is the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s annual ‘talent show’ event to raise money to end the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to remember and celebrate those who have died from this disease.
There are two events on August 24th. For the afternoon there’s a play reading and in the evening in the Elizabethan theater a variety show. Both promise to be entertaining and inspiring events.
Tickets for the Reading are $25. Tickets for the Variety Show are $30-35. To purchase tickets for the Variety Show online, click on August 24 on the calendar above; or call the Box Office at 800-219-8161. For the Play Reading, visit the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s webpage here here.
“Head Over Heels”
A Review by Desiree Remick
“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.
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.
Catherine Coulson teaches a free class on OSF’s musical “Guys and Dolls”
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 email@example.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
Camelot Theatre “Sunset Boulevard” — a Review
Livia Genise’s version of Sunset Boulevard is a “kinder, gentler version of tale told in classic Wilder movie” says Roberta Kent writing for the Daily Tidings.
I always love to promote the ‘other’ performing arts venues in the Rogue Valley. The town of Talent, just a few miles up the road from Ashland, is the home of the Camelot Theatre.
This community theater does a wonderful job mainly due the untiring efforts of its Artist Director Livia Genise.
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Book and Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton
Based on the Billy Wilder Film
Starring Livia Genise and Nathan Monks
Directed by Roy Von Rains, Jr.
Go here to read Roberta Kent’s review of “Sunset Boulevard“
Sundays through April 19 at the Camelot Theatre, 101 Talent Avenue, Talent.
For tickets ($25-29), call 541-535-5250 or go to www.camelottheatre.org
Siskiyou Center: Shakespeare, Women and Song
If you want an immersive program to learn more about Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s spring plays and meet those who actually make it happen, check out Siskiyou Center’s program April 19-24.
Theatre Instructor: Barzin Akhavan
Topics that will be covered:
- What’s the connection between Shakespeare and modern musical theater and how they overlap?
- Find out how a musical theater performer uses a score with language, not notes, to tell a story. Learn how an actor uses the musicality of Shakespeare’s words to make the language clear for the audience.
- Discover some of the unconventional female characters who are on stage at Oregon Shakespeare Festival this season, and how they contribute to the overall production.
- Delve into the world premiere production of the absorbing tale of Fingersmith, aptly described by Oregon Shakespeare Festival as “a wild ride of a Victorian crime thriller!”
Siskiyou Center Program includes pre- and post-show discussions with an Oregon Shakespeare Festival professional artist who will introduce characters and background information for each performance, and provide guest instructors to help you get the most out of your theater experience.
Click HERE to see a day-by-day schedule complete with class times, meals, and theater performances.
Program Fee Includes:
- Tickets to 3 performances at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- Ticket to 1 performance at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre
- 13 lectures/discussions with theater professionals and Shakespeare scholars
- 13 meals (5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners—2 dinners “on your own”)
- Final dinner at a wonderful restaurant in Ashland
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Actors and Designers Receive 2014 Falstaff Awards
Today PlayShakespeare.com announced the nominees and winners for their 2014 Falstaff Awards.
Around the world, the Falstaff Awards recognize extraordinary and notable achievements in the categories of Best Play, Best Director, Best Performance by a Male or Female Actor, among other performance and technical categories.
Not surprisingly, a number of Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s actors and designers received the 2014 Falstaff Award, and more were nominated in various categories.
For Kate T. Vogt‘s comic and notable role as Launce in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, she was awarded Best Female Supporting Performance. Many were delighted in how she tried her best to upstage Crab ably played by Picasso, the now famous Great Pyrenees dog.
In the technical categories: Daniel Ostling won Best Scenic Design and Alexander V. Nichols, was the winner of Best Lighting Design, (both for their effective and elegant work on The Tempest) and U. Jonathan Toppo won in Best Choreography or Fight Direction (for Richard III, it’s safe to assume that the award was for fight direction not for dance).
For the complete list of Falstaff Award nominees and winners you may visit PlayShakespeare.com’s website.
Identity of Shakespeare Mysterious Mr. WH Possibly Revealed
Many have debated to whom were the sonnets written by Shakespeare really dedicated? The only hint was the enigmatic Mr. WH.
Geoffrey Caveney, an American Shakespeare scholar, seems to have come up with a very plausible answer. Read here and come to your own conclusion!