Archive for the ‘Shakespeare Festival’ Category

Richard 111 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

September 19th, 2014 by Julie

Richard 111

 

Richard 111 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon is a triumph.

The play is takes place during the 30 year long War of the Roses between the houses of York and Lancaster. It is a story of the lust for power, and how Richard spirals into corruption, hatred, revenge and evil.

So says Richard, with Shakespeare famous words ” Now is the winter of our discontent”. Nearly every character in the play longs for a better future, after a long period of upheaval and discontentment.

Richard’s lust for power leads him to murder and to destroy peoples live. He becomes so despicable, villainous and evil, in his quest to have no one left in the country to challenge him. But of course he will always have enemies and he finds it hard to trust anyone. Richard is constantly haunted by the ghosts of those he has had killed.

Director James Bundy and his brilliant cast have the audience captivated from the start of the play until the end. Dan Donohue as Richard 111 steals  the show with a masterfully outstanding performance. You love to hate him, but you also can have some sympathy for him as he struggles with his deformities and descends into ruthless brutality.

Shakespeare’s masterpiece will shock and delight at the same time, with Richard as the most astonishingly entertaining character to take center stage.

Jean-Pierre and I were intrigued by Shakespeare’s artistry, seeing the play under the stars is wonderful. We talked about it for days afterwards.

This is a must see, but  there is not too much time left before the Elizabethan Stage closes and Richard 111 will be no more.

Get thee to the box office now…

For Tickets…..Oregon Shakespeare Box Office

“Into the Woods” is playing in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland Oregon until October 11th.

August 20th, 2014 by Julie

into-the-woodsInto the Woods” is playing in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre in Ashland Oregon until October 11th

The Elizabethan stage is the perfect venue for “Into the Woods” a play written by James Lupine with mesmerizing music by Stephen Sondheim. The musical was inspired by Grimms Fairy Tales stories… Cinderella,  Little Red Riding Hood,  Jack and the Beanstalk,  Rapunzel and others.

On stage is a full 25 piece orchestra, you may recognize Matt Castle playing the grand piano, he also played the piano on stage in last years “My Fair Lady”. He was very much part of My Fair Lady and he is also quite a presence in Into the Woods playing Sondheim’s delightful music.

The two Prince Charming’s played by John Tufts and Jeremy Peter Johnson are hilarious, they  also sing some really wonderful lusty songs.   Another stand out is the riveting Miriam A. Laube who plays the humorously menacing witch, she is a fantastic combination of good and evil!

‘Into the Woods’ is beautiful to look at, the OSF multi talented acting company breath new life into the fairy tales we all grew up with. Of course all good fairy tales start with the words… Once upon a time… then the story begins.

What follows is a gorgeously rich Broadway worthy musical spectacular with a unique Oregon Shakespeare Festival flair.

Does it all end Happily Ever After..   You will have to go and see for yourself..

Go to  osfashland.org/productions/2014-plays/into-the-woods.aspx

 

 

“The Great Society” now playing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

August 1st, 2014 by Julie

“The Great Society” now playing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

bill rauch and robert schennkeanRecently we were privileged to join an audience of OSF volunteers at the Music Hall on the campus of Southern Oregon University for an evening with Bill Rauch, Robert Schenkkan and Tom Bryant. They talked about the Broadway production of  ”All the Way” and the new sequel to All the Way, Robert Schenkkan’s new work “The Great Society”.

This play will be just as powerful and tumultuous as All the Way. In The Great Society, we start from LBJ’s landslide victory in 1965 until 1968. We see how Lyndon Johnson has to come to grips with the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War, and how he is able to push through great legislation such as the Voting Rights Act and Medicare.

Jack Willis again reprises his role as LBJ,  and Kenajaun Bentleyas Dr. Martin Luther King. The cast is still in rehearsals, guided by Bill Rauch as Director and Robert Schenkkan, they are getting ready for the world premier opening on July 23rd.

We are so excited to see The Great Society, to revisit the 1960′s and to remember what Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King fought for. and what they achieved in difficult times in our history.

Another snippet fresh off the presses… Robert Schenkkan told us that he is in negotiations with a movie company to make a film of All the Way!!  We will look forward to seeing it in the future at the Varsity Theatre in Ashland.

“Cocoanuts” now playing in the Bowmer Theatre at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon

July 15th, 2014 by Julie

CocoanutsCocoanuts is now playing in the Bowmer Theatre at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon through November 2nd 2014.

Mark Bedard who is again absolutely brilliant, as the zany, crazy Groucho Marx.

Cocoanuts is a jazz age gem and a wildly funny romp full of sun, sand, superb fun and shtick. Groucho as Mr Hammer, the owner of a failing hotel in Florida the “Cocoanuts Beach Hotel”.

Groucho tries to peddle some worthless real estate in a get-rich-quick scheme by taking advantage of one his guests in the hotel a wealthy society widow Mrs. Potter, superbly played by K.T Vogt….. comic mayhem and uproarious fun ensue as Groucho tries to relieve Mrs. Potter of her money.

At one point there is a land auction in which the audience is invited to bid, the evening we saw the play, the audience went crazy and bid millions of dollars in ever increasing excitement.

Of course there are Groucho’s more than willing sidekicks.. Zeppo ( who is the hotel clerk ) deftly played by Eduardo Placer and Chico and Harpo played hilariously by John Tufts and Brent Hinkley.

Cocoanuts castThis is musical comedy at it’s best with wonderful songs and lyrics by Irving Berlin, including “Always” and “Lucky Boy”.

Cocoanuts is a madcap musical full of mayhem, mischievousness,silliness and spontaneous improvisations, anything can happen, and it usually does, no two performances are alike.The audience is definitely part of the whole experience. The cast are having a great time, always looking for the next ad lib. It’s a sheer joy… you come away from the theatre, singing the songs and chuckling to yourself for days afterwards!

 

Summer in Ashland Oregon

July 10th, 2014 by Julie

ashland oreegon townAshland Oregon has so much to offer visitors, it’s a small town bursting with sophistication but also wacky and wonderful too, it’s a friendly place, where everyone has time to chat!!

 Ashland is home to the Tony Award Winning and world famous “Oregon Shakespeare Festival ” the jewel in the crown of our town.  With it’s three iconic and beloved Theatres all in the center of downtown Ashland.

It’s not only a great Get-a-way from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but as you arrive in Ashland you take a deep breath ready for renewal, restoration and the healing power of our glorious and famous small town.

 There are so many things to do when you come to visit Ashland, it’s an art lovers dream, has lots of music events,  fabulous dining, boutique wineries, river rafting, birding, hiking trails and Lithia Park which is on the list of “National Register of Historic Places”.

Harvey’s Restaurant, a New Restaurant in Ashland Oregon

June 25th, 2014 by Julie

harvey's place
Harvey’s Place a new restaurant in downtown Ashland.
As the Ella Fitzgerald song goes “ At last my love has come along…  Well, not love exactly, but we have waited a long time for the space that housed the former Chateaulin Restaurant to be occupied again.
After looking so sad for so long it’s great to have an exciting new restaurant in downtown Ashland. Harvey’s Place is open for business, and we think it’s a wonderful addition to all the other fabulous restaurants in town. Very good food, friendly service and great bar. Harvey’s Place will be open after the plays for a late night snack and drink, see you there!

Water by the Spoonful at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Oregon

May 15th, 2014 by Julie

water by the spoonful“Water by the Spoonful”  a 2012 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Quiara Alegria Hudes and directed by Shishir Kurup.

The scene….. Six years after Elliot is wounded in Iraq.  An aspiring actor Elliot ( played by Daniel Jose Molina) has to make ends meet by working at a sandwich shop, that he really hates. He’s dealing with the pain of his wounds and the pain of his childhood with a mother who was in the grip of addiction and was incapable of caring for him.

The play delves into the lives of addicts on a cyber chat room, who are dealing with drug addiction and recovery. We meet ” Haikumom” ( the moderator )  ”Orangutan”  ( a girl wondering if she should find her birth mother ) and “Chutes&Ladders”  ( an African American man in his 50′s ) Their lives intersect in surprising ways as the play goes on.

Elliot and his older cousin Yaz ( who is going through a divorce)  are dealing with their gravely ill beloved Aunt, who raised Elliot when his mother abandoned him.

Elliot finds out that Haikumom is his mother Odessa, he has to face the trauma of of his childhood. Elliot and his mother are haunted by the past.

The play is full of unforgettable characters in the virtual world and the physical world, also the harrowing consequences of drug addiction. This story in many ways is inspiring with complex relationships and even love

A not to be missed play!!!

.For tickets go to https://www.osfashland.org/experience-osf/current-season/buy-tickets.aspx

 

Bryan Cranston nominated for a Tony Award for “All the Way”

May 6th, 2014 by Julie

 

Great_Society_746x420

The award winning play commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival  ” All the Way “ by Robert Schenkkan and directed by Bill Rauch.   Had it’s world premiere here in Ashland in July of 2012.

It was a huge success at the OSF that year.  Since then Bill Rauch ( OSF artistic director)  has taken the play to Broadway in New York.

Last week the the play was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor… Bryan Cranston   (best known for his title role in Breaking Bad)  and also nominated for Best Play.  The Tony awards will be handed out on June 8th. at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

Bill Rauch says ” I couldn’t be more proud and grateful, it’ a home grown play. We developed it, and I’m so proud of our actors and the other artists and our audience.”

“The Great Society” Schenkkan’s  follow up to ‘All the Way” will open at the Bowmer Theatre in Ashland on July 27th.  Jack Willis will again reprise the role of Lyndon Johnson.

To get tickets go to www.osfashland.org

 

 

 

Ashland Oregon the Gem of the North West

May 2nd, 2014 by Julie

ashland_sidewalk_plaza_webashland oregon

 

 

Ashland Oregon is a jewel box town set in the bucolic mountains of southern Oregon.

This lively and beautiful town is the hub for the arts including a world class award winning Theater company also galleries, music and much more…

For more information about Ashland go to www.ashlandchamber.com

The Tenth Muse a new play at Oregon Shakespeare Festival

October 21st, 2013 by Julie

tenth museOSF commissioned the play by the rising Mexican playwrite Tanya Saracho.

The action starts with three young women arriving at the convent of San Jeronimo in Mexico on the same day.They are shown to a basement storeroom by the nuns where they will stay.The girls explore the storeroom and soon come upon a locked cupboard containing a treasure trove of writings, there are many plays and poems, unfortunately Jesusa is only one of the girls who can read, she reads the plays and poems to the other two girls, Tomasita a (shy Nuhua Indian) and Manuela a (noble woman who is pregnant and sent to the convent by her family). Under the direction of Jesua the girls act out the plays and delight in the poems.

They learn that these are the writings of a famous intellectual nun that died 20 years before in the convent, her writings were banned by the church.

It will all end badly when the Mother Superior finds out what they are doing. In a time when women could not voice their opinions or have the right to be educated.  These three young women fight for their rights from the church and society.

»