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Ashland 8 September 2015

1026 : 963

An Intense Ashland Day

Slow start, unhurried breakfast at Morning Glory, two errands, tea at Dobró, and a walk in the park before a rousing production of Guys & Dolls in the Bowmer ... and then it was time for dinner. This Culture Vulturing is hard work.

After the play, brilliantly and sparingly staged, so the characterization and humanity of it shone through brightly, we sat with one of the actors and heard a discussion of the choices, and a bit of the process, of making the play.

A short break, delicious dinner at Agave, the Green Show (A tribute to Bob Dylan), and then a fine Antony & Cleopatra in the Elizabethan. We're a little wrung out ... but two more plays tomorrow! And so to bed.

<p>Beside Lithia Creek & Calle Guanajuato</p>

Beside Lithia Creek & Calle Guanajuato

1027 : 956
<p>The Green Show plugged right into the spirit of the audience</p>

The Green Show plugged right into the spirit of the audience

1028 : 953

One of the constants in my life: since Taming in 1960 -- I got here by myself on what must have been my 16th birthday; I have vivid memories of that day, traveling with a small group from Corvallis and an NSF computer science week, a solitary dinner, and then the glory of a play like nothing I had ever seen before; I was hooked, obviously -- I have been coming to Ashland for Shakespeare, and now, other stuff, for 56 years. 

I still love the Shakespeare, even the muddled glory of A&C, but I am grateful to the new direction OSF is taking, with America's original dramatic form, the musical, taking its place with the classics.

OSF is undertaking a complete round of the canon, 37 plays is it?, in ten years, starting with three this year. Will we be able to manage to keep up?

1030 : 924

It's been called the Great American Musical. Based on 1930s era Damon Runyon short stories, it's about a better class of criminal, mugs who always honor their markers and all want to live happily ever after. The iconic characters, Miss Adelaide and Sister Sarah, provide the play's mainspring; their guys are ...just regular guys. Lovely by-play about how women want to change 'em as quick as they catch 'em. This production wasn't the usual flashy, scenery-driven show, but a fun study of some classic American characters. Big Standing Ovation at the end, with me in the lead.

1031 : 920

Tony & Cleo is one of Shakespeare's political plays, about how the flawed characters that attain power and prominence have their little foibles, and these are the flaws that cuase their tragic downfall. The actress in this one, Miriam A. Laube (don't forget the period) is one we don't much enjoy: her emotional range spans the gamut from A to B ... said another way, she plays the same character every time we see her. OSF tends to get into ruts with its Primas. 

The outdoor theater experience is wonderful, but even that and flashy costuming wasn't enough to keep this tough play from feeling overlong.

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