These first few weeks in August have felt to me like they're all about about going to the theatre.
First there was CATS, and then I attended both productions of this year's Showcase Festival and I'm looking forward to travelling to Vancouver this coming up weekend to visit this summer's Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival in Vanier Park. I am well on my way to being a culture vulture. :)
Tickets to A Midsummer Night's Dream make a fabulous birthday present!
So anyway, Jeff, my clever sweetie, volunteered his accounting skills and was this year's book-keeper/payroll guy for the Showcase Festival.
Consequently, we were able to score some free tickets to go and see both the Taming of the Shrew and its modern counterpart, Cole Porter's Broadway musical Kiss Me, Kate .
I enjoyed these performances sooo much.
I tell you, I'd probably make a lousy theater critic, because everything I attend just seems so well done.
Maybe you could ask fellow blogger Ian for a second opinion, as I said hello to him on both nights. One night he was sitting in the row in front of me, the next he was in the row behind me. Anyway, Ian's our local reporter and he planned on writing up a review in the local Echo newspaper.
The pictures here are from the first night's performance of Taming of the Shrew .
If you are not familiar with the story, it is the unpolitically- correct tale of the shrewish scolding Katerina and how she must be married off before her simpering but far more popular younger sister Bianca can be married.
Bianca's frustrated suitors join forces to plan how they can woo Bianca and find a husband for her brawling elder sister. The solution arrives in the form of Petruchio, an optimistic and money-grubbing man who seems unconcerned how shrewish his potential wife may be as long as she is wealthy. By the play's end, the fearsome Katerina has been married, bested and worn down by Petruchio's husbandly tactics which include depriving her of sleep and food. In the end, she seems okay with the whole thing.
Sounds rather depressing, doesn't it? But a little Shakespearean slapstick goes a long way to lighten the mood and the actors interpret their roles wonderfully.
I remind myself that the plot took place in the ethics of Shakespearean times, and laugh despite myself at the antics on stage.
However, I agreed fully with the woman behind me who muttered to her husband at play's end: "Don't be getting any ideas from this, Brett...."
Jeff and I were invited to attend the Meet the Cast party after the performance on Friday night and so we met all the main actors, including to my delight, Neil Minor, the fellow who played Puck in last year's Festival.
I also met Teryl Rothery (who played Kate the Shrew) who is apparently broadening her acting credits in our little town after playing in the show Stargate SG-1 in her role as Dr. Janet Fraiser. I almost didn't recognize her off-stage as the onstage Kate was larger-than-life with big red hair and this was a petite little blonde person. Plus, although I've watched Stargate a few times, I was usually noticing Richard Dean Andersen and not Ms. Rothery.
She seemed very nice. As I shook her hand and chatted politely, I reflected that I could now also claim two degrees of separation from Richard Dean Andersen (also starring in Stargate) who was the MacGyver of my childhood. Reason enough to attend the party, free drinks aside! :)