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Ashland 2015: Antony & Cleopatra

Time once again for the annual Shakespeare Festival pilgrimage.  As usual, I'm visiting with a tour group from Whitman College (go, Fighting Missionaries!).  Not usual: my parents are sidelined this year owing to a (minor but perfectly mis-timed) health issue, so I am representing the family on my own.

The Friday night show was Shakespeare's Antony & Ceopatra, which we've seen (surprise) a time or two before -- most notably in 1993, when the then-artistic director was playing Antony and the tour group somehow managed to score front-row center seats, so that we got a row of Roman legionaries marching right along in front of us, close enough to step on stray candy wrappers and drip sweat onto our shoes.

I enjoyed this year's production, though I don't think it was the equal of the 1993 version.  The two best performers, I thought, were Derrick Lee Weeden as Antony and Jeffrey King as his follower Enobarbus.  I've liked Miriam Laube in other roles, but in this production Cleopatra comes off as too much a slave to her emotions rather than their mistress.  To be fair, it's likely this is as much the director's choice as Laube's -- that being OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch in this case.  I also recall the queen's handmaidens, especially Charmian, being more of a force in the earlier production, whereas in this one they were little more than scenery -- and disastrously costumed scenery at that.  [I am not alone in this last sentiment; our faculty tour leader allowed as how she could have made their outfits at home.]  Fortunately, the overall staging and costuming was much better, than that for the handmaids, and I'd count the production as a whole satisfying but short of being exceptional.
Crossposted from my mirror-journal on Dreamwidth (at http://djonn.dreamwidth.org/41829.html); feel free to comment here or there.


( 3 comments — Agree, disagree, kibitz )
Aug. 8th, 2015 01:33 pm (UTC)
Were the costumes made out of duct tape?

What other pkays were had and I do hope the your folks are better
Aug. 11th, 2015 09:10 am (UTC)
No duct tape that I noticed, but pieces of tablecloths might have been involved.

By now you'll have seen the rest of the itinerary, and indeed, the parental units are properly recovered (though not without an adventure or two in the process).
Aug. 8th, 2015 05:43 pm (UTC)
We wish your parent(s) a speedy recovery.

My opinion is that a less-than-stellar performance is better than no performance at all. I'm glad you could make the trip even though your parents couldn't.
( 3 comments — Agree, disagree, kibitz )

Confucius Say....

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-- Seanan McGuire

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