If you haven’t been to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, put it on your bucket list. This trip with the good friends that enticed me to go the first time several years back was just as enjoyable as ever.
We started with a innovative version of The Two Gentlemen of Verona with an all-female cast. It took only a few spoken lines to completely forget that women were playing the male roles. Then a bloody and brilliant version of Richard III, the king you love to hate, with consumate acting by veteran actor Don Donahue. For comic relief, a Marx Brothers farce, Cocoanuts was next on the agenda with an improv approach that included the audience–whether they wanted a Marx brother in their laps or not! The last of the eleven productions slated for the 2014 season (which goes from January through October) that I was able to see this time around was Into the Woods, the crazy mixed-up fairytale by Steven Sondheim, with princes on 3-wheel bicycles with horses heads and giant’s wive’s faces projected on the proscenium, a fanciful morality tale for all. I’ll be back next year for sure.