neadods: (theater)
Last night I saw the most uproarious, hilarious, unique version of Midsummer Night's Dream I've ever seen - and I'd only gone because I'd been offered a free ticket and Scott Wentworth was in it!

There were white bouquets on the ends of the aisles, as the conceit was that we were all members of a wedding party watching the entertainment, presented modern times in modern dress. That it turned out to be an interracial gay wedding was the first warning that all the rules were off. As the play went on, Lysander was played by a woman, "Thisbee" was played by a bald man with a foot-long beard, and when the drag queen of the fairies showed up, 5 people in my row walked out.

And just because gender wasn't the only assumption subverted, Egeus was presented as deaf, all his lines signed and all the other actors signing to him (except Theseus-Scott, who made sure to face him closely at all times for lip reading.)

The modern dress, gender twisting, and general hilarity led to changes in the text. Demetrius added a furious "Jeeze!"to the end of his speech to Helena about leaving him alone. "Thisbee" stopped the line at "I have a beard." Puck, presented with a Hermia comfortably ensconced in a pup tent, said "she doth NOT lie on the dank ground..." A drunken Hippolyta turned her line to "I was with Hercules... Literally." (Later, even drunker, she would call to "Let them bring Frisbee forth.") Titantia's song turned into "woodbine, eglantine, you and me all the time..." The abrupt end of the dance at the end was explained by Theseus as "I have neighbors." And the moment when Oberon confronted Puck with (her? Not sure if they were presenting trans or woman in trousers) mistake about juicing the wrong person turned into this dialog (paraphrased, I don't have the text and they did use the original words):

"You said I would know the man by his Athenian weeds!”
"The MAN by HIS..."

Musical selections included Bizarre Love Triangle after the scene where the lovers' dilemma was first presented and Bad Moon Rising for the "ill met" scene.

The fairies tap danced, one of the Rude Mechanicals pulled out a smart phone to check if the moon would shine (the audience laughed at that, but roared and applauded when Quince -- played by Lally Cadeau -- found the answer faster in a printed almanac.) Bottom's suicide as Pyramis was accomplished via light saber -- which he pulled back towards him by the blade to turn off as he died. (Thisbee turned it off on the withdrawal from under his arm, winking at the audience)

There was a lot of character dropping. "I have more lines!" Demetrius wailed as he was swarmed by child fairies. "Stop making me laugh," Oberon finally ordered a grinning Demetrius, who has contorted himself into a ridiculous position to get de-juiced. (This after he'd noticed how stressful the position was, mimed looking at his watch, and moved a bit upstage to see how long it could be held.)

They did not double roles. For a Scott Wentworth fan, that meant less of him, but it meant Jonathan Goad had far more time to chew the scenery with panache. (Goad and Evan Builing switch between Oberon and Titania.) not that there was much left to chew when Mike Shara (Demetrius) and Stephen Ouimette (Bottom) were chewing madly as well.

And if there wasn't riot enough, Goad took the ALS ice bucket challenge, in character, center stage, during the intermission. He gave a speech about how, due to the stage and his costume (the wings had been removed for their safety) the ice water was replaced with a bucket of leaves... and had just enough time to shout "THAT'S NOT LEAVES!" Before the ice water hit him in the chest. "Oh, that's cold," he quavered in falsetto. "Oh, my fairy berries!" He then challenged everyone laughing at him from the orchestra.

Photos of THAT, by the way, have already started hitting twitter. Look for #stratfordfestival.

I really, really hope that this production is chosen a some of,the ones the Festival records and sells. My one great regret of the season otherwise will be that I only saw such brilliance once.
neadods: (theater)
If you are ever in Stratford (the Ontario one) I cannot recommend The Harrington House B&B http://www.theharringtonhouse.ca more highly.

It's right across the street from the squash court Patterson theater, making it easy to nip from breakfast to Meet the Festival. And those breakfasts! Filling and delicious. The first morning we had the oatmeal pancakes from the website.

Other amenities include wifi, air conditioning *and* ceiling fans - trust someone from tropical DC, you want both - and a light, spacious, and welcoming lounge in case the weather is inclement. There's also a small refrigerator for guest use and kitchen access.
neadods: (sherlock)
The perils of live theater: Porthos tripped down the stairs in Three Musketeers, laughing it off as D'Artangnan rushed to him.

Also in the show, someone sighed, romantically and LOUDLY as Athos described his first reactions to the girl he married. Graham Abbey looked over -- which made the audience laugh, and then that became a laughter loop for a few minutes while Graham stood onstage with his hand over his eyes.

The three men at Meet the vegetables Festival played the three suitors in Fiddler on the Roof. Perchek: "Siberia is a warm, comfy couch, so I love being sent there."

Seana, although dressed in modern clothing, *totally* upstaged everyone at Dear Mary, Dear Elizabeth, starting with a nonchalant "it's nothing" shrug as the historian talked about Elizabeth being declared a bastard by her own father. She brought the house down again with her tart delivery of "Madame" for the letter E wrote M when M married her third husband (who had, as the historian noted, probably killed her second husband and most certainly forced her.) Lucy Peacock sat serenely with a permanent smile, although at one point Seana looked over, obviously waiting for L to drop into character and get one up on Seana.

Lucy Peacock is selling a slim volume of limericks "written while lying dead onstage during The Duchess of Malfi."
neadods: (theater)
Waiting for Godot was quite the Rorschach test: I heard people murmuring "Magnificent!" Near me. I also watched about 5 people leave during the first half without even the grace to wait to intermission.

I had the grace to wait, but I didn't stick around. Side note: when the Avon is open for a show, the balcony lounge 1) has comfy chairs, 2) has blessed air conditioning! and 3) has a strong wireless signal. My phone is, contrary to expectations, working as a phone and receiving/sending texts, although I'm sure my next bill will be high. But I don't have data roaming and refuse to pay for it when I can get wireless in the B&B and all the theater lobbies.

Robbed of my chance to buy a purse from my favorite leather guy at Art in the Park, the Tourist info told me where in town sold his stuff. Although M and I were both eyeing the only one of a style, I bought it and she got a teal tote that's lovely.

Loving the new purse! It'll be my work bag.

Also went nuts in Olive Your Favorites, the place with the flavored olive oils and vinegars. This meant I had to haul another box almost a mile back home, but they say they don't ship to America, so I must do what I can with the opportunity presented.

I MUST learn to flavor oil and vinegar!

The night show was a STUNNING production of Mary Stewart. Lucy Peacock stepped up to the plate better than I would have given her credit for as a riveting Mary, while Seana McKenna was an incandescent Elizabeth. And for the fangirls, Ger Wynn Davies played Leicester.

There was thunder in the soundtrack, but nature provided much more, often nicely punctuating scenes. In the intermission, I went out to watch the lightening light up the river. Fortunately, it had passed by the time the play let out!

Today, the same actresses read actual letters between Mary Stewart & Elizabeth Tudor. And I want to go to a drop spindle class. But most of the day will be packing - tomorrow I come home, and hopefully will find the one shy cat that has not let any of my assorted caretakers see her!
neadods: (theater)
The production of Fiddler on the Roof starring I-was-in-his-fanclub Scott Wentworth, is excellent!

... but it's nothing compared to the incandescently brilliant Brent Carver production of 2000.

Blythe Spirit was also fun - Seana McKenna made a multi-course banquet of the scenery - but Sara Topham will shout her lines rather than declaim them.

Other than that, it's horribly humid; not that hot, but with the humidity I'm dripping sweat in 15 minutes of being outside, making it so unpleasant that I don't want to sit by the river and read or knit, as I assumed I would (and packed so I could.). And the B&B is half a mile out of town, so one must walk through all that mugginess to get to food or shopping, but then you might as well stay out rather than walk all that way back. Next time I'm up, I'm staying in the town center! What's the point of being near the Festival when it's town where the food and shopping are?

Today I am seriously considering blowing off Waiting for Godot -- I only got it out of a sense of duty that I out to see it sometime, and a much better cast will do it in NYC later this year. My last play either way is Mary Stewart tonight. Tomorrow are festival extras and packing.


ETA: ZOMG, M just checked the weather. 28 degrees C (82ish) AND 95% HUMIDITY!!!!
neadods: (theater)
I'm not talking about my house being part empty on FB, but enough people have left LJ that I feel that I'm not drawing a target on the house by admitting that I am now in the land of poutine for a while.

M and I got here Tuesday. Yesterday was only one show for me - The Three Musketeers, which was good, but also spun to be very dark. There was a note taped to my seat inviting me to a chat with D'Artangnan and Lord Buckingham after; a large but private reception where the actors answered questions. (D'A said that "gritty reboots are the fashion" when asked to compare this production to the sunny first one of '68. To a woman who'd seen the one in '68!)

The rest of the time I shopped my wallet flat - not good going for my plans for this one to be the "cheap" vacation before JASNA! But there are dark chocolate lemon creams to buy, and minties, and there's a new store called Olive Your Favorites with flavored oils and vinegars for mixing and matching and ZOMG, I spent almost $200 on vinegars alone. (They loooooove me there...) I have GOT to learn to flavor my own oils and vinegars!

I'm light on plays this year, so I'm doing other town events instead. In lieu of an evening show, I took a market class and watched the instructor make labneh, queso fresco, and paneer. Then off to Raja for superb saag paneer.

In writing news, I've joined the John H Watson Society and sent them an essay for their journal. In with the edits, the said that my description of Elementary made her want to see it and she thinks it will inspire others to see it too.

I find this hilarious.
neadods: (universal_roaming)
Nanoseconds back from a long, lovely chat with [livejournal.com profile] wendymr and Spouse, and wish we could have talked all night.

Before the cut, I'll say that Seana was brilliant, but it was a rather strange Richard because they wanted to push the idea of Richard as the continuation of the medieval play character of Vice, and thus Richard wasn't a frustrated king or a politician or even a person, he was an Idea of Evil. And... that didn't particularly work for me.

However! The ending scene made up for everything. And I didn't think that anything could compare to the last RIII I watched here, where Richard was hung up by his knees in a tree, and the last image was a back-lit shape of black (no, I can't spell the s-word and the ipad doesn't have spellcheck), an image of the dying king, his withered arm slowly falling to dangle next to his good one. Brilliant stuff, gave me goosebumps.

Here, cut for major staging spoilers )

And now, alas, I must pack to go home, a trip that will start horrifically early in the morning. When I get home, I'll see what's up with my userpics, half of which seem to have disappeared. I'd rather still be talking with Wendymr & Spouse!
neadods: (theater)
Today was pretty much shopping day, and I bought a lot, because every time I bought food for someone else (like the ice wine smoked salmon at Indigena) I bought some for me too. Good thing I have my entire car to fill up!

Plays:

Merry Wives was loads of fun, although maybe not my Ultimate Favorite Shakespeare Play anymore. Everyone was good, but Ger Wyn Davies was Falstaff, so you know he did his best to mop the floor with everyone else. "His favorite dish is the scenery," Mo said, and he dined well.

He also treated the fourth wall like three gibberish syllables, constantly breaking it in asides to the audience. On lust "making beasts of us all... yes, (pointing) you sir, you know what I mean, I know you do." On a joke that got only one tiny titter, it was just a point and "Thank you."

The audience ate it up.

The Misanthrope... I started out a little disappointed because the after show talk was cancelled "for unforseen circumstances." And then, during the first half... well, aside from thinking that Sara Topham is typecast as The Sprightly Ingenue and that everyone was riding roughshod over the poetry, I found myself profoundly indifferent. At intermission I asked myself if I was having fun (no), if I was comfortable (also no; how can an ass be so fat and so boney at the same time?) and if I wondered what would happen (not much; the playbill spoils the ending).

And so, blasphemously, I didn't go back in when the trumpets sounded.


On the other hand, I have seen swans and even cygnets and ducklings. And also -- there's an app for Stratford. Two, actually. One is more or less the festival visitor's guide in interactive form; the other is for the town and has tours and non-main-drag shopping, etc.
neadods: (theater)
The B&B may be a long walk from city center but right now I'm not only eating a light lunch of cereal, yogurt, OJ, and chocolate poundcake supplied for free, my clothes are in the wash. @ 26 may not have the mega gourmet breakfasts Aspidistra used to give, but the amenities are well worth the walk. (And you can go right by the chocolate stores on your way back and pop 'em right into the fridge so they don't melt.)

Anyway.

NEXT PART CONTAINS AN OPENING SCENE SPOILER FOR CAMELOT. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED FOR THE FIRST 5 MINUTES OF THE SHOW, SKIP DOWN.

Mo came back burbling that she'd seen The. Best. Warning. Sign. Ever. You know how theaters put up the signs: Warning, this play contains strobe, this play contains gunfire, etc. Camelot's reads "This play contains mist, smoke, [blah blah], birds of prey."

"Ha, ha," says Mo to herself. "That's cute."

But even having read it, she wasn't expecting the play to start with Merlin calling a live hawk to his arm.

SPOILER END

In a little bit I have my first play, Merry Wives of Windsor. I adored it and considered it my favorite Shakespeare play when I first saw it in Regent's Park.

... in 1984.

So we'll see how it plays out now. Then tonight, it's The Misanthrope, with a break for fish and chips and chocolate tour sundaes between.

This morning was a Meet the vegetables Festival* with Seana McKenna & her husband/director Miles Potter. (*So called behind the scenes) Highlights:

On doing a one-woman play: SEANA: "The cast parties aren't as fun... but you never miss a cue."

On costuming: SEANA: "I wear two corsets this season. One pushes everything up; the other pushes everything down." She also discussed how she did Richard (no platforms or bindings lest she hurt herself over the run, and building up the costume over the "strong" arm to look masculine, while her own arm would look much weaker in comparison.)

On "Shakespeare's Will" MILES: "It may be a play about an unhappy marriage, but the strains of an acting marriage? Oh, yeah, we could relate."

On a female Richard:

SEANA: Richard's always an other anyway. I'm just taking that one step further.

MILES: He's always compared to animals - the toad, the hog. I think she's doing a bird of prey. (SEANA: "Skree!")

MILES: He's pretending throughout. The gender is one more pretense

SEANA: Although one guy didn't get it. He was complaining that Richard was too effeminate.

on the seduction scene: SEANA: "In Shakespeare's time it was a man to a boy; we're just flipping that dynamic. Also, what does he tell her? 'I did terrible things, but I love you, I won't do them anymore, and you're the only one who can change me.'" (Nods as women in the audience laugh appreciatively.)


Would you believe that I haven't seen any swans yet? I've been by the river.

R
neadods: (universal_roaming)
Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered -- or at least lots of rain, mist, and complete lack of highway lights in the mountains, plus a GPS that didn't want us to take the route we'd mapped with restaurants and hotel -- M and I have fought our way here to Stratford.*

She's got a play in an hour; I'm going to catch up on Sherlock porn online and then faceplant. We've also taken a quick look around town to see what stores are still here, what aren't, and what's new. Also, to buy Chocolate Tour tickets. (Dudes! In addition to attempting to eat my body weight in dark chocolate lemon truffles, the Tour includes both a Coffee Culture Cafe Rockslide Brownie ("a combination of decadent chocolate, giant chocolate chunks, drizzles with creamy caramel with an added crunch of pecans) and Jenn and Larry's (*ahem!*) ice cream sundae "smothered with hot fudge."

It is possibly a good thing that the new B&B is rather a long walk out of the city center, considering.

Tomorrow when I'm not in a chocolate-infused fugue state, I'll be seeing The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Misanthrope. Also picking up the DVD of last year's Christopher Plummer Tempest. Will try to write them up Saturday morning.


*Bonus points if you recognize the quote I'm mangling
neadods: (theater)
I had planned on liveblogging my trip this year, but that was before the ipod touch accepted the B&B network and the netbook didn't. Typing on that teeny screen is Just Not Worth It. (On the other hand, like the palm pilot before it, the Touch went from toy to tool in about 10 minutes; checking weather, keeping my schedule, holding play texts, etc. It certainly was lighter to carry than the netbook and a hardback book - I really see the appeal of ebooks now - and with wireless in the theaters I kinda got into the habit of doing a quick email check at intermission. Perhaps when the rumored smaller ipad comes out, I'll have something that will be better for typing on the fly as well as a better reading screen.)

The trip: We took a new route that was supposed to save 90 minutes. It added 90 minutes. *insert BLEH! icon*

The town: Two things of note for the tourists.

1) The County Food Company is now selling picnic pails. For $25, you get two big sandwiches, three small containers to fill with your pick from the dozen-item salad bar, 2 cans of soda or bottles of water, and a Secret Picnic Map (read: hand-drawn map of the Avon river), all in a bucket. It's a lot of good food, and a reasonable price for two.

2) Downtown businesses have grouped together to form the Chocolate Trail. For $20, you get 8 tickets, which you have 3 days to redeem at your choice of 16 businesses (repeats allowed). The woman at our B&B was giving us all the good hints - "Chocolate Barr only gives you two truffles, while Rheo Thompson gives you a box of 9 mixed cremes and Rocky Mountain gives you your choice of half pounds of fudge." (We chocolate trailed slices of turtle cake at Let Them Eat Cake for Mo's birthday.) Even non-candy stores were getting into the act - P'Lovers gave away chocolate mint bath salts, two tea shops gave away chocolate teas, Fosters gave away chocolate martinis, Kitchen Connoisseur gave away jars of mocha ice cream topping, and Bradshaw's gave away a plastic stemless wine glass with a couple pieces of chocolate and the promise that you could get the glass filled at a restaurant across the street.

The theater: Peter Pan, The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, & Winter's Tale )

Things are going well for Stratford. After a year of them begging me to renew my membership and a bad exchange rate (from the American point of view), I thought things would be bad for them. Instead, every show was filled to the brim.

On the personal side, I was devastated to discover that the Aspidistra is changing - it is turning into a guest house with no provided meals. As the breakfasts were the biggest draw, I'm looking for new Stratford lodgings.

On the plus side, [livejournal.com profile] wendymr and I had a wonderful long dinner and chat on Saturday. Great to see you again!

Now I have to go back to real life... and figure out why my feet are swelling. I know I've been walking a lot and I've spent the whole summer in the same shoes, but that shouldn't cause edema, should it?

I'll be catching up with LJ and real life tomorrow after work. Good night, all!
neadods: (universal_roaming)
The last play I saw was A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. It was supposed to star Bruce Dow, who has been playing the supporting character with the show-stopping song for several years now (for example, his Nicely Nicely Johnson rocked the house with "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat"). So Forum was supposed to finally be his star turn.

First he hurt himself, badly, then he got sick.

The new Pseudolis is one of the swing actors from West Side Story. It rather changes Forum to have Pseudolis be the same age as Hero, although as a piece of broad, crude farce it's impossible to get wrong - it was a total romp! Although if I were the director, I'd be switching roles - the actor playing Hero (my notes are still packed) was very much a young Rowan Atkinson, all charisma, dark curls, big nose, and impeccable sense of comic timing. He'd make a much more impressive lead; I look forward to seeing more plays with him.

M went to see The Importance of Being Earnest that night. She says it was a delightful production, but I was having an equally delightful time hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] wendymr.


And then to home. The border guard on the way up was a theater fan ("You're not seeing West Side Story? I shouldn't let you through!"); the one on the way back sort of grunted politely at us and sent us on our way. (It sucks to get up early to leave... until you fly over the Peace Bridge without a delay!)

On the way up, I'd gone by my notes of previous years' travel on the all-superhighway route. On the way back, we trusted the GPS, which has old maps and at one point was just showing a car in a blank expanse of white, repeating "recalculating... recalculating... recalculating..."

In the end, it gave us a route that wended through many stoplights and town centers (including one that was in the early stages of setting up a fun-looking Italian themed street fair). However, stoplights and all, this route had the triple advantages of showing off the scenery (Pennsylvania is a stunning state), cutting 90 minutes off the travel time, and cutting out all tolls. So I'm thinking I have a new route to Canada.

I've also learned the interesting facts that Cyrano de Bergerac was a real person (I've bought a book about him) and that Forum was based extremely loosely off of three Greek plays, which I will have to look up online.

And so, back to the real world. I have the notes for a 2.5-hour meeting to type up tomorrow...

MacBeth

Aug. 15th, 2009 11:09 am
neadods: (hamlet)
Color was very much a point of this MacBeth, as it was set in Rawanda, around 1960s-ish... although Lady MacB had a wig and costumes that were deliberate references to Michelle Obama. (o.O)

From the director's notes )

The preshow discussion was about timeless themes in MacBeth - childlessness and how MacDuff cannot revenge himself suitably - "He has no children!" Lineage. Equivocation. And there were notes on previous productions, esp. the one in the 1960s here, where the stage blood for every performance was 2 gallons of actual blood bought fresh from the butcher's every day.

The production was very loud - lots of gunfire, cannonfire, helicopters sounding like they're about to land on your head - and like I said, race was very much an issue. MacBeth and Duncan (and Duncan's children) were all white, while Lady MacBeth, Banquo, and MacDuff and half the rest of the cast were African-Canadian. (There were other minorities too - Lennox and the nurse were Indian.)

The nationalities get rather weird at the end, with major emphasis on the Scottish and English flags everywhere, and the looks on the faces of the soldiers when Duncan's son starts talking about how they're going to do things the English way. (This would have worked fine if Scotland was actually Scotland at the moment, but when it's Rawanda, it got a little "bwa?")

Mixed feelings from the audience - half of it rose and cheered and the other half clapped a bit politely. (And Colm looked terribly giddy and happy for someone whose head was in a bucket downstage.)

The post show discussion was mostly about race, with a little bit of general acting commentary )

And one teacher from Detroit said he'd brought a set of students up and they had really gotten into it - that doing MacBeth with guns and a racially diverse cast was something they could relate to and it really worked for them.

Today, Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, although without Bruce Dow, who is ill. Tomorrow - a very long drive.
neadods: (hamlet)
Internet is spotty (and I'm not reading LJ or Facebook, so if there's something I need to know, do please drop it in comments.)

However, I want to write these up while they're fresh:

Cyrano
... was 1/3 still in the original French )

tl;dr - Well worth the seeing. It has Colm, so that really goes without saying.


Midsummer Night's Dream
First version I've seen that starts with gunfire )

A competent, but not incandescent, Midsummer.

Tonight - MacBethathon. The lack of Internet has spiked my plan of watching the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theater version first, but I will be going to the pre-show lecture and the post-play discussion.

Colm's MacBeth (apparently none of the actors in this version are bothering with "Maccers" or "The Scottish Play.") Ger's Duncan. Yanna McIntosh (last night's Titania) is Lady Mac. It's going to be an interesting evening. A report tomorrow if I can get here. If not, I'll report on Maccers and Forum when I get back.

I have the option of seeing The Three Sisters this afternoon, but I think I'm going to take the option or napping or massage instead.

[livejournal.com profile] wendymr, looking forward to meeting you!
neadods: (Default)
The serendipity carried us through - [livejournal.com profile] jennetj and I made it to our flights on time despite a horrible backup at the Peace Bridge, and I even got my checked luggage ("Oh, how cute," the ticket agent cooed at the Barbie Memorial Suitcase) just in time to make it to the earlier bus to my place. Yay!

Am now stuffed on spaghetti and trying to catch up on scary amounts of email and internet stuff.

Shakespeare's Will:
I worried about this play when I saw that the script was written
in the sort
of blank modern verse
with one
or two or three
words per line.

I hate that.

Fortunately, Seana McKenna has riveted me from the moment she first took the stage as Medea 7 years ago. The play is basically her talking to the audience, replaying bits of her life as Anne Hathaway on the day she buried Shakespeare, with flashbacks. She keeps snapping about "your sister Joan, the bitch," which makes for pretty powerful foreshadowing if you are familiar with Shakespeare's actual will. However, much of the rest of the action is based on supposition and twisted history, which I'm always ambivalent about. So I'm going to say this one is a powerful performance with a wobbly text.

Favorite memory - right at the end, a when we all knew it was the end but the second before the lights dropped so Seana could take her curtain call, someone in the audience very loudly said, "Wow!"

Lear - no cut because I have very little to say. It was a well-done Lear, but it broke no new ground and had no extraordinary thing to say about it. Scott The First (the first of my actor crushes named Scott) did a great job as Gloucester.

Sunday 7 Yes, even traveling, I managed to do it. Go me. I will be freecycling an overnighter bag and a wallet on account of having replaced them in Canada. (I should be freecyling a purse too for the same reason, but I'm going to hang onto it, as you never know. It's a nice midway size between the one I had, the one I bought, and my largest duffle-sized one.) I put two of the books that I'd taken into the B&B bookshelf for someone else to enjoy. And I tossed assorted toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner) because such things only ever make one-way trips.

There's thunder outside, so I don't know how long I'll be on. But I'm home and catching up, electronics willing.
neadods: (Default)
Today started - well, you know how it started, with 90 minutes of rushed Internet time at Tangos - but *after* that and the amazing breakfast (food at the Aspidistra can't be beat!), [livejournal.com profile] jennetj and I got in the car and headed up the road for the Samsonite outlet tent sale.

As y'all already know, I'm a luggage lush; the outlet is always worth a look when I'm up here. A sale at the outlet is *definitely* worth a look, particularly since I loathed my old carryall from the moment I had to lug the heavy bugger to the terminal. I found a carryon-sized, hard-sided, nicely proportioned, and with handy pockets inside and out, and those all-important four wheels. (The Beast from London turned me into a solid fan of the spinner suitcase.)

Only thing is, it's pink. Not baby pink, or even breast-cancer pink. This is a pink that would make the pepto bismol reach for something to settle its stomach. It's Barbie pink. And plastic.

And to complete the crime against humanity, the inside is lifesaver orange.

Yes, I bought it anyway. I have no pride. And as people said (as they cringed from the sight), there's no way I'm gonna lose THAT in a crowd!

I was going to call it the "crime against humanity;" [livejournal.com profile] jennetj has dubbed it the Barbie Memorial Suitcase.

A couple more tasteful shopping triumphs include the DVD about the restoration of the Globe Theater, including the first performance there, and a British book on Edward VI. Do you know how hard it is to find anything on Edward VI? Usually he's just a terse footnote: "Between Henry VIII and Bloody Mary, Henry's son ruled for about 25 minutes. He was sickly, underage, and snuffed it young. He is chiefly distinguished from Edward V (also a footnote who didn't last past his regency) by being Protestant instead of Catholic."

Another must-see is The Quilt, an exhibition of quilts for breast cancer treatment and research. Someone has used my idea of making a "sudoku" quilt with 9 fabrics, none of which repeat in the same row, column, or block. It came out beautifully. Note to self: run with that idea when using up scraps.

Dinner was at the Raja, where J had chicken korma and I had chicken kashmir (or the other way around; they were both mild curries, so we stuck 'em in the middle of the table and noshed from both.) Mmmmm!

But the big thing is, of course, the plays.

The Ideal Husband )

My One and Only )

Wentworthies, the Merchant of Venice playbill (and yes, I'm sorry I missed his Antonio… a little… anyway, Scott's blurb ends with this cryptic line: "Mr. Wentworth spent the off-season killing zombies in George Romero's upcoming film Diary of the Dead."

Today, very little shopping as am out of money. Also "Shakespeare's Will" and "King Lear," to send me home with a smile on my lips and a song in my heart. Or something.

Unknown ability to connect tomorrow until I get home tomorrow evening. As always, please comment here if there's anything I need to know.
neadods: (Default)
I'd say sunny Stratford, but we were caught in rain coming up yesterday and there's thunder outside now. Feh.

But other than that, I love it when a plan comes together. Serendipity has been working overtime for [livejournal.com profile] jennetj and me; both of us had amorphous single plans that were a little too expensive, but being able to combine our trips at the last minute has dovetailed perfectly. (And hey - half off the car rental and B&B price!) When we got to the B&B, we were even able to change from the room with one queen bed to the one with two twin beds... turns out the people coming in today usually go for the queen room, but were unable because I'd reserved it first.

So everything works out for everybody. It's a good sign.

Today is comedy play and shopping day; tomorrow more of the same although all the plays are tragedies; Sunday home. I'll be trying to swing through and keep a vague eye on email and LJ tomorrow morning, but if there's anything I really need to know; comment here.

PS - What has LJ done now to upset everyone?

Stratford

Sep. 9th, 2006 12:42 pm
neadods: (Default)
Y'know, the great thing about travelling with one's parents is that you don't have to pay for your own food. The not-so-great thing about travelling with one's parents is that they want to spend a lot of time together -which means that it's taken me 5 days to get a chance to sit down by myself and write up everything. Some trip I shall sit quietly by the river, watching the swans and knitting while listening to the iPod. But not this trip. Not even now that my parents are off daytripping, as the early rain has made every seat soaking wet.

So. Greetings from not-so-sunny Stratford Ont. Where I am blessing every penny I spent on this computer and every early morning at Toledo blipverting through my mail and LJ, as the communications center where I connected the last two years is never open when I drop by and the library is 1) far away, 2) limits time and 3) doesn't allow downloads (which I've been doing daily.) It's sucked to try to compress 4+ hours of daily surfing down to 90 pre-breakfast minutes, but not a bit as much as it would have sucked to be knocked offline for a week entirely!

So. The Festival. I've seen six plays, with two more scheduled today. (Those will have to be written up when I return on Sunday.)

The Liar )

Coriolanus )

Don Juan )

Oliver! )

London Assurance )

Much Ado About Nothing )

I'm a bad fangirl, as I am seeing nothing with Scott in it. Since I'd pay good money not to have to see Duchess of Malfi, it's Henry IV that I’m rather regretting, particularly since it also has Barry MacGregor and Brian Tree… but, as I keep reminding myself, regretting the play that got away is also part of the annual Stratford vacation.

I've also taste-tested between Rheo Tompsons and Chocolate Barrs (I say it's a tie, my mother votes for Rheo.) And the Aspidistra still has the VERY best breakfasts in town - stuffed croissants, mushroom/zucchini fritatta, melon soup, blueberry muffins, hot scones… enough food to keep you going through the matinee and one of the lower B&B prices in town. Plus Oil of Olay, who are one of the sponsors this year, keeps giving us little samplers of some lotion or other - I'll have to describe it at Christmas, since I'll have to send it back with my parents. Because I might try to blow up the plane home with a .02 oz freebie tube of fancy skin cream, don'tchaknow. (Honestly, this whole thing is just so pathetic. And I'm worried that they're going to try to confiscate my chocolates. Because God knows, bon-bons might go boom-boom just cos they have cream centers or something.)

Truly, there is not enough eyeroll sometimes.

Loreena McKennitt download )

Question for other folks who've been to Strat this year. That advertisement for the Stratford Summer Music series - does anybody else get a rather slashy "Ledo and the Swan" impression from that artwork?

And now it is cold and rainy and my parents have returned early, so I'm off to send this out and head to the next play. Oddly, I do not seem to have a theater icon anymore. Must fix that.

Also utterly OT - the obligatory Dr. Who comment for the 2/3 of my f-list who only friended me 'cause of that: an excellent Ten/Sarah Jane NC-17 fic Very well done, very hot, very in character.
neadods: (Default)
"This place is full of Shakespeare stuff, it's like living in a gift shop."
"I just wanted to throttle a swan."

Oh, no, this isn't based on Stratford at all!

*snicker*snort*
neadods: (Default)
Nobody can screw up Hello Dolly unless they're totally incompetent, and Stratford is most competent of all; it was a glittering, ambitious, giddy production with a train onstage and superb dancers and fireworks and timing right out of a bedroom farce and a leading lady who unfortunately wasn't up to snuff.

Oh, Lucy Peacock hit her notes (mostly) and delivered her lines (without shading) - but Dolly Levi can and should be a nuanced character; for all the bombast and simplicity of the other roles, she has several facets. Dolly is at her center smart, witty, mourning, hungry, conniving, clever, confident, and desperate. Lucy got across the witty and a couple moments of clever, but there was nothing of the rest in her portrayal. Without the bubbling innocence of Carol Channing or the depth of Barbra Streisand, Lucy did it with a fixed smile and a lot of bombast.

It was a good play. It was a fun play. It was not as good as it could have been with someone else in the role - but I was one of the few to have any reservations as far as I can tell from the almost-full theater, the standing ovation, and the cheers that led to three curtain calls (followed by Horace chasing Dolly into the bedroom. That was a hoot!)

Two things very incidental to the play shocked me - that Marion Adler was merely in the chorus, and that a check of the program says that this is only her 5th season here. It's Scott's 14th, and I remember both of them talking about how horrified she was that they imported an American so I thought she'd put in a lot more time on the Stratford stage.* And I thought when she came back she'd have more to do - although the playbill notes that she's Lucinda in Into the Woods, and I don't know how big a role that is.

Now my only decision is if I want to walk to Bentley's for dinner (I've only eaten there once; last time I had every dinner there) or stay here in the Principal's Pantry and stick by the Festival theater. I'm going out with a bang - The Tempest, with the post-play discussion is my last play.

Then it's back to cold reality; I'm already packed, so I just throw my night stuff into the suitcases, shove them in the car, and hit the road right after I look over the usher's yard sale. I called my boss and she is having, if not a formal meeting, then some work on Sunday with her assistant. So while I haven't been ordered to drive it all in a day, it's heavily suggested, and she could use extra hands.

*sigh* I'd hoped to hit the renfaire if I drove it in a day.



*For those who don't know who I'm talking about, a quick primer. Scott Wentworth caught my attention in "Kung Fu-the Legend Continues" and I joined friends and fellow fans to see him live in Stratford in Y2K; have been coming back to see the whole festival ever since. He recognizes my face from the fan club, when it existed, and will usually stop to say hi and let me fangirl around him for a bit. Marion's his wife; a lovely woman and an excellent actress.

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