Posts Tagged ‘Angus Bowmer Theatre’

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2016

October 25th, 2015 by Julie

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2016


The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is one of the best and well known festivals in America and around the world as we found out… guests at our Inn come from many states and many countries around the world.

Next years 2016 season looks even more exciting than this years 2015 season, we can’t wait to see what treats are in store for us.

As Bill Rauch says, “2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death—the last major Shakespearean milestone many of us will experience in our lifetimes. In celebration of our core identity as a Shakespeare theatre, we are proud to be presenting five plays by our namesake author, one from each genre (comedy, tragedy, history and romance) plus our single most overdue Shakespeare title. With TIMON OF ATHENS next season, OSF will have produced the entire 37-play canon a staggering four times, and our current Canon in a Decade project means that we hope to have completed the canon a fifth time by 2024. As I anticipate all five Shakespeare plays in 2016, I am particularly excited about THE WINTER’S TALE in the Allen Elizabethan Theatre, seen through an Asian and Asian-American cultural lens.

“At the same time, our commitment to new work remains a vital part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the 21st century. With world-premiere adaptations of Charles Dickens and Gilbert and Sullivan alongside a thrilling new American Revolutions drama and the premiere of a lyrical fable from a rising Latina playwright, we will continue to contribute to the American canon of new plays that will go on to be produced by theaters nationwide. Finally, our 2016 season includes an astonishingly fresh take on the Vietnam War from the perspective of Vietnamese refugees in the U.S., and a rare large-scale revival of the much-beloved musical THE WIZ.

“The 2016 season reaffirms our identity as a language-based, classical theater even as it continues to expand the boundaries of the types of artistic adventures that we will offer our ever-curious and passionate audiences.”

We are so lucky in Ashland to have such a wonderful acting company right here in rural Southern Oregon.

For tickets and information go to

“The 39 Steps” opening soon Oregon Cabaret Theatre

September 12th, 2015 by Julie

“The 39 Steps” opening soon at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. The play will open on September 10th 2015. It promises to be a lively show with an onstage plane crash also a chase on top of a moving train, sounds very exciting.

I first saw the classic 1935 thriller by Alfred Hitchcock many years ago, I remember how intense it was, this version however will be just as thrilling but with lots of comedy too.

It is about a man Richard Hanney played by John Stadelman  who is bored and goes to a play while there he witnesses a murder. There is a mysterious woman in black played by Katie Beck.39 steps Justin Waggle and Stephen Kline round out the cast playing multiple roles.

This is a fast paced whodunit about spies and murder with dashing heroes and classy dames, gosh I can’t wait until opening night….

Oregon Shakespeare Festival new play ” Sweat “

August 24th, 2015 by Julie


Detail_2015_Sweat_746x420 (1)

Welcome to ‘Sweat’  a World Premier play by Lynn Nottage now playing at the Bowmer Theatre at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The play set between 2000 and 2008 in Reading Pennsylvania, one of the poorest cities in America.  It’s a sad story of what happens when good paying factory jobs go away and the devastating financial consequences that unemployment brings.

We meet three woman factory workers:  Tracey ( Terry McMahon) Cynthia (Kimberly Scott)  and Jessie ( K.T Vogt) in the local tavern after work, gossiping and laughing about everyday things with the bar tender Stan ( Jack Willis). You notice they are drinking excessively, especially Jessie who’s life has been taken over by alcohol and seems to be drunk most of the time, also working at the bar is Oscar an natural born American from the Dominican Republic, he would really love a good job at the factory but has no skills.

Cynthia and Tracey have sons who are friends,  both have good jobs at the plant, while Tracey’s son Jason (Stephen Michael Spencer ) is happy to work at the plant for the rest of his working life Cynthia’s son Chris ( Tramell Tillman) is saving his money to go to college.

At the beginning of the play they are all working shifts at the plant with good money and benefits but their middle class lives are about to change as management wants the union to agree to longer working hours and loss of some vital benefits. Tracey, Cynthia and their sons vote NO. What happens next is the management lock out the workers from the plant and bring in an unskilled workforce, Oscar from the tavern is happy to be one of the unskilled workers to get a job.

Cynthia and Tracey who thought they had good paying jobs until they retired suddenly find themselves without work and their American Dream shattered.

Things will change dramatically for Jason and Chris because of one indecent of anger, rage and racial tension, one late night at the Tavern.

This play is very powerful, you feel their desperation, hopelessness and profound sadness as they struggle to find any minimum wage jobs they can get.  They long to return to the way things were but unfortunately will never be again.


Love “Head Over Heels” a new musical

August 5th, 2015 by Julie

Detail_2015_HOH_746x420 Oregon Shakespeare Festival ” Head Over Heels”
On a hot evening last week Jean-Pierre and I joined more than 1000 other excited playgoers to see  ” Head Over Heels” at the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre.
This is a world premier play taken from a 16th century poem “Arcadia” by Sir Phillip Sidney.  Adapted for the stage by Jeff Whitty, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar with music and lyrics by the Go Go’s.
This seems like a very unlikely mashup of a 1580’s poem and music from the 1980’s group The Go Go’s….. yes it seems strange but it really works.
Before the play really starts the marvelous and wildly funny John Tufts as ” The Fool” Philanax comes onto the stage, he engages with us the audience, checking the script and telling us all about the mythical world of Arcadia, and of the wonderful characters we are about to see, then the story begins!
The Elizabethan poem by Sir Phillip is about romance and the meaning of love in all forms,
and so is this play,  settle into your seat and enjoy the ride.
 The King of Arcadia Basillius ( Michael Sharon)and his Queen Gynecia ( the always amazing Mirium Laube)  love each other but have fallen temporarily out of love. Their eldest daughter Pamela ( Bonnie Mulligan)has many suitors but loves none, their younger daughter played by Tala Ashe and the local Shepard boy played by Dylan Paul as Philoclea and Musidorus are an absolutely adorable couple very much in love but unable to be together.
As the play goes on the story gets more and more complicated and brilliantly silly with mistaken identities, lots of romantic surprises and wildly funny non stop jokes that will have you constantly laughing.
The fabulous songs from the Go Go’s and the story intertwine beautifully together with gorgeous costumes, a terrific live orchestra and an exuberant cast belting out the wonderfully familiar foot tapping songs.
It’s an over the top non stop party and well worth the trip to Ashland just to see this play.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2015 Much Ado About Nothing

June 12th, 2015 by Julie

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2015 Much Ado About Nothing

much ado about nothing

There is a lot to enjoy in Oregon Shakespeare’s 2015 production of Much Ado about Nothing. Shakespeare has created an imaginary world to delight us and for the next three hours it does just that.   Directed beautifully by Lileana Bain-Cruz,  she moves us along on a journey full of comedy, tragedy, triumphs, infidelity and of course love!

At the beginning of the play the stage is full of roses cascading down over the actors, we see Don Peadro and his men arrive in the make believe kingdom of Messina back from the war, among them are Claudio ( Carlo Alban) and Benedick (Danforth Cummins), the mates are ready for some fun and R&R.

The naive and  jealous Claudio quickly falls in love with his hosts daughter Hero ( and just as quickly falls out of love with her when her virtue is spoiled by Don Pedro’s evil sister.)

Benadick meets the lovely Beatrice ( Christiana Clark ) they really are in love with each other but would never admit it, he is stubborn and pig headed and she is equally so. There is a lot of witty banter going on between them until they finally come to the conclusion that they actually are in love!

There are very funny comic interludes where Dogberry  (Rex Young)  and his inept band of men enter the stage. Dogberry is goofy and hilarious as he zips around on his Segway dropping Malaprop’s as he goes, constantly followed by his enthusiastic mother.

Spend a wonderful evening at the Bowmer Theatre. This play is a must see, it’s Shakespeare at his best. A joy to watch, full of high energy, charming likable characters and sparkling wit.

For tickets go to

Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents Fingersmith

May 19th, 2015 by Julie

 The 2015 Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents Fingersmith. The play is a brilliantly perfect adaptation of Sarah Waters best selling Victorian mystery. It is Alexa Junge an Emmy nominated play-write who has taken the book to the OSF stage beautifully. Director Bill Rauch brings the characters to life with imaginative staging and subtle direction.

This is an extremely complex story about two orphans, one  Maud Lilly ( played by Erica Sullivan) is an heiress living in a country house with a rich uncle.  The other Sue Trinder (played by Sara Bruner) who was raised by  “baby farmer” Mrs Sucksby (played by Kate Mulligan). Sue was taught to become a fingersmith ( slang for a pick-pocket ) She lives with Mrs Sucksby  and her band of thieves in the slums of London. Their lives could not be more different …..
or so you think!

 Some fascinating facts about life in Victorian England, women of all walks of life had very few choices and a rigid class structure to deal with. They could not vote, own property or get an education in many cases.

From the women of lower part of society in the slums, to the privileged women who lived luxury, most were at the mercy of the men in their lives.

This is the backdrop for Fingersmith, Sue meets charming scoundrel and con man (Gentleman) Richard Rivers ( Elijah Alexander) who needs Sue’s help him in a scam to marry and steal from the wealthy Maud, but all is not what it seems!

Over the next three hours with two intermissions you will be amazed at what happens:  There is a surprising love story and lots of double crosses, it’s full of plot twists and turns, fascinating characters and getting rave reviews from the audience and critics alike.  The first intermission ends on a cliff hanger with audible gasps from the audience.

And so it goes… there will be many gasps of surprise along the way. Enjoy the ride, but don’t give away the plot to your friends!

To get your tickets go to

Guys and Dolls at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

April 22nd, 2015 by Julie

Guys and Dolls at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival


Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2015 production of Guys & Dolls is a much loved musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser.  It has been performed many times and made into a movie too. I have seen the movie and also a couple of stage productions but this production is by far and away the best I’ve seen.

Mary Zimmerman  directs the top notch cast through a fast paced and uproariously funny show with witty dialog and foot tapping and beloved songs.

The play opens in Times Square New York with gambling crazy Nathan Detroit ( played with comic exuberance by Rodney Gardiner ) trying to find a spot for his floating crap game.

We then meet Adelaide, a night club dancer and Nathans long suffering fiancee who after 14 years wonders if she will ever become a bride. As Nathan ties to find a place for the crap game, along comes Sky Matherson a handsome sinner and gambler who will bet on just about anything. Nathan bets Sky that he can’t take Sarah a straight laced goody two shoes Salvation Army Mission doll to Havana for a night. Sky sets about wooing Sarah, but he unexpectedly falls in love with her.

Guys and Dolls never misses a beat with heavenly vocals and great choreography and an enormously talented cast.

 Especially endearing is  Robin Goodrin Nordli  who gives a absolutely adorably ditsy performance as Adelaide. She stops the show with her renditions of songs ” Sue Me” and ” Take Back Your Mink ” but the most funny and charming song is  “Adelaid’s Lament ” (A Poyson Could Develop a Cold) together with sneezing and wheezing, it’s a hoot.

Sky Matherson  (played by Jeremy Peter Johnson ) and Sarah Brown  (played by Kate Hurster) win the hearts of the audience as the unlikely lovers,  they dazzle and delight with songs ” I’ve Never Been in Love before ” and   ” I’ll Know “.

You will be humming the tunes all the way home, and probably like us would love to see it for a second time.

For tickets go to

“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”.