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Tag / william shakespeare

Boxed In: Cheek By Jowl’s “The Winter’s Tale”

Working from home had drained Gwen more than she expected. She had always been comfortable on her own, without having a supervisor or manager peering over her shoulder as she worked. Had someone asked her, a month ago, if she’d prefer to work in the comfort of her home, she’d have leapt at the opportunity.

But “comfort” wasn’t what the home felt like to Gwen. Despite making sure she took walks outside regularly (at Eleanor’s urging), their small apartment was feeling more claustrophobic by the hour––to say nothing of Gwen’s preferred kind of social interaction: the collective anonymity provided by the dark blanket of a theatre audience. Now, to Gwen’s distress, both the audiences and the stages of Chicago were shrouded in darkness, and would be for some time.

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Across Two Worlds: Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “Manahatta”

“Well, I don’t know exactly what I expected,” Eleanor began, as they walked out of the Thomas Theatre, and back into the courtyard of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “I guess I thought it would be preachier.”

“It’s still sorta preachy,” Dania contended. “In that it has a message.”

“If that’s your bar for ‘preachy,'” Gwen replied, with a motion back towards the theater, “then any play with a message could be described that way.”

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City Blown Away: Theatre Evolve’s “Twelfth Night”

It was Dania who had convinced the others to sit in the front row. Gwen typically preferred at least a row of distance between herself and the action, especially in a blackbox as small as the McKaw. But Dania was insistent.

“They wouldn’t put chairs out if they didn’t want people sitting there,” she said, excitedly bounding to the chairs just by the edge of the stage. “Come on, Gwen.”

Eleanor, impartial, followed Dania, and so Gwen tagged along. It meant she had to crane her neck upwards to see Olivia, when Chelsee Carter held court from her chair on the platform. But for most of the action of the play, the actors remained in the sweet spot at center stage.

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Signifying Nothing: The First National Tour of “Something Rotten”

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of friends who are always out experiencing the best of entertainment. Be it plays, films, concerts, exhibits, or restaurants, they’ve learned that the arts are best when experienced together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Recently, the Girls saw “Something Rotten!,” Broadway’s musical comedy about Shakespeare, kind of. Let’s hear what they had to say on their way back from the theater…

 

Right off the bat, Dania could tell that Gwen was going to hate this show.

Which was disappointing. By the time applause for the opening number, the comedic and quick-moving “Welcome To The Renaissance,” had faded away, Dania could sense most of Gwen’s criticisms. The show wasn’t taking itself seriously. The history was entirely inaccurate. The comedy wasn’t funny enough – Dania had been overwhelmingly enjoying the humor, but assumed that Gwen would probably dislike it. After all, this was a musical that took it upon itself to rhyme “genius,” describing Shakespeare, with “penis,” describing the put-upon protagonist Nick Bottom who hated the Bard. In fact, his rant regarding why Will gets to be “The Bard” rather than just “a bard” had mirrored a conversation Dania and Gwen had actually had once.

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