The Hills of Fake Iowa, And The Deadly Effects Of Marriage

Francie Ford (Robin Goodrin Nordli) and George Page (Ted Deasy) learn about their wives (Gina Daniels, Terri McMahon) schemes to have their revenge on Senator John Falstaff. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

At long last, and after much (internal, completely unnoticed by other humans) agonizing on my part, Part III:
Marriage

“I’ve never seen Christopher Liam Moore do anything – acting or directing – that I didn’t think was fantastic,” I said to my partner before we headed into the CLM-directed The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa. “Also, I’ve interviewed (Very Merry Wives writer) Alison Carey, and she’s brilliant, so I have hope for this play.”

Yeeeeeeaaaaaaaah.

I still think CLM usually kicks acting and directing butt (2010’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof should have won national awards), and I still believe Alison Carey is brilliant. Her ability to combine the script of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor with contemporary English should win her some kind of adaptation/reinvention prize, at least in terms of language. But dear god, this play? This farce gone overboard? This parody without end? No.

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Play On: Oregon Shakespeare Festival Summer Season, Part II

Archbishop of Canterbury (Richard Howard) assures Henry V (John Tufts) that there is no bar to his claim to France. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

So I started off yesterday (well, Wednesday) with the Greeks as a theme, but Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella segues perfectly into the next two themes:

Music and Marriage

That bwessed awangement, that dweam wifin a dweam

Right, that, but I want to start with the food of love: music.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Bill Rauch has never hidden his love for musicals; 2009’s Music Man was one of his first smash hits as artistic director, and he’s had a surprising number of live musicians onstage for many plays since. But I have noticed an uptick in music within the plays that aren’t musicals since Rauch came on board permanently in 2008.

Shakespeare, as I was told by my high school “Shakespeare on Stage” teacher (Ms. Berit Lindboe, if you ever read this, this entire thing is your fault, and by “thing,” I mean my life as a Shakespeare addictnerd), liked to put songs in his comedies. Thank god our high school class never had to make up tunes to go along with the lyrics. But I digress: The point is that under Rauch, the festival has gone hog-wild with the music. Continue reading