Tuesday, September 1, 2020

alternative universe VII

The alternative universe is beginning to diverge enough from the bleak one we're living in that it's starting to get harder to say what I'd be doing in it. The fall concert season would be gearing up, and I'm sure I'd have assignments to review concerts, but I'm not going to go hunting down now-abandoned concert schedules to try and guess what these might have been. The one thing I can say for sure is that neither of the fall series I'd bought tickets for included anything from before October.

So the one place I'm sure I'd have been during the alternative September was in Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which we'd be arriving for on the 28th and leaving on October 2nd. Three of the plays we might have been seeing had actually made it to the stage at the start of the run in February, and OSF released reference videos of these to their members later on. The one Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, I found enjoyable, though not a patch on the brilliance of the National Theatre version which I've also seen online. The two other plays, The Copper Children and Peter and the Starcatcher, however, were quite tedious, and I'd have been squirming in my seat through them, something that's only rarely happened to me at Ashland before. Though at least the former was short, and I got through all of the video, while for the latter I bailed out early on. The problem wasn't the acting or the production, but the scripts: the plots were meandering and failed to make meaningful points, and the texts were loaded with exposition which becomes deadly on stage. I was more looking forward to the Henry VI set boiled down into two plays, a process I've seen before and which made dynamite. But this year's version of that one never made it to stage, so no video. I hope OSF does better next year.

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