February 21st, 2009

Married man


Ashland, Oregon
opening night at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Macbeth at Oregon Shakespeare FestivalMacbeth by William Shakespeare

We were so looking forward to seeing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival redeem themselves after their 2002 butchery where they "adapted" Macbeth to make Lady Macbeth warm and cuddly and misunderstood. We went home thoroughly disappointed.

Last night's production left Shakespeare's words intact but unsexed it emotionally and deposited its storyline in disconnected speeches all across the stage.  This Macbeth is a bombastic mess badly conceived and faithfully driven into the ground by the talented acting staff.Collapse )

The best thing about this Macbeth is that it is unadulterated Shakespeare.  The worst thing is that it is mostly un-acted Shakespeare.

Ozdachs Rating:  Rating 2 out of 5 

Married man

Dead Man's Cell Phone

Ashland, Oregon
opening performance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Dead Man's Cell Phone at Oregon Shakespeare FestivalDead Man's Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl

A fun, snappy script built around a clever premise makes this theater adventure a satisfying romp. 

The play is pure entertainment as far as I can figure out. Its send-up of our need for constant communication makes me worry that I am missing Something Deeper.  But, if I've missed it, I am happy anyway.

The play notes tell us about a "... film-noir odyssey that crisscrosses life and death, isolation and connection, what’s real and what’s not."  Yeah, well, sure.  It was mostly fun, though.Collapse )

This production amuses and made me laugh.  I didn't feel that the world changed, that characters really changed, or that I learned anything.  But, I had a good time.

Ozdachs Rating:  Rating 4 out of 5