MSF: Romeo and Juliet last weekend.

Romeo and Juliet Bare Bard

The Maryland Shakespeare Festival did a really great Bare Bard of Romeo and Juliet last weekend. If you weren’t there you missed something special. And what a bargain with the Bare Bards being only $15. Sure beats $70 for the same seats at one of the larger venues… Of course that $70 buys some REALLY nice costumes and you also get an espresso bar! (But at the MSF you can get a nice coffee mug for $5).

BARGAIN: KING LEAR $10 May 16 & 17 at the Maryland Shakespeare Festival

LEAR copyMan!… I’m going on my Honeymoon starting this weekend and for some reason I thought I’d be back in time for the Maryland Shakespeare Festivals last Experimental Bare Bard of the season, not to mention one of my favorites, King Lear. Some of the best, most liveliest productions I’ve seen over the past year have been the Bare Bards, and I’m actually kinda sad that I’m going to miss this one.

O’ well… My stongest suggestion is, to do yourself a favor and check out this Bare Bard. And remember, if ya got an extra buck or two (Or $10,000 is what they are in need  of?)… Please make a donation and help them out, and the rest of our community in the process… Let’s keep Shakespeare alive.

Link: http://mdshakes.com/performance.html

FREE!! This Weekend “As You Like It” in Olney Maryland

ayli-prod-11Get geared up for this weekend for some FREE Shakespeare! The “National Players”, who happen to be the longest running classical touring company in the United States, will be performing “As You Like It” this weekend in Olney Maryland. I really wish the timing was better (Honeymoon and all) cause I would really  would have loved to check out this production!

So’ don’t let the recession get you down… Pack up the kids and head to Olney.  Hey’ here’s a thought,  ya wanna take someone on a cheap date, AND look cultured at the same time? Then Shakespeare is it, and here is your chance.

Remember’ If you don’t support local Shakespeare, there won’t be any local Shakespeare.

As You Like It May 8 & 9, 7:30 PM.

Link:  http://nationalplayers.tripod.com/index.html

Richard II On DVD: 1978 Staring Derek Jacobi

djacobi_richardI just recently  watched Richard II from the “BBC’s Complete works of Shakespeare” DVD collection, and thought I would pass this on. I had watched this DVD without reading any reviews, so I went in with no expectations. Not to mention I had read that this was one of the more difficult plays to perform, so that lowered my expectations even more. And last, but not least,  the live version I’d recently seen was probably the least favorite of all the Shakespearean productions I had ever seen… period!. So’  if on this DVD, Derek Jacobi came out dressed in a duck suit, and quacked out the Soliloquy from Hamlet I would not have been surprised, and all my expectations would have been met. (Okay’ Now I’m just being silly, and the live version I saw really was not that bad, it just felt two dimensional and I didn’t like the way Richard was portrayed.)

So I popped in the DVD and… Wow! No’ Really, Wow… Derek Jacobi owned this role. I am not a critic who can analyze Shakespeare line and verse, but I do know when I have seen something amazing, and this left me stunned. If you are a Shakespeare, or Derek Jacobi fan, do yourself a favor and check out this version. You can rent it  at Netflix.com (Cheap), or buy it from Amazon.com for $130 as part of the BBC Shakespeare Histories 5 play collection.  Or you can do what I did an go to Amazon UK and buy the BBC’s  Complete works of Shakespeare (Same as the 5 above plus the rest) on DVD for about $122.00 plus shipping directly from  England. Keep in mind if you order from Amazon UK, these disks will not play on your standard DVD player unless that player can handle Region 2 DVD’s or your DVD player is region free. (leave a comment if you need more details).

If you want more details about this DVD you can check out the info at imdb.com where you will find a ton of reviews, casting information, ect.

MSF: The Tempest Last Weekend/Shakespeares Birthday

This is just a quick shout out to The Maryland Shakespeare Festival. The Tempest Bare Bard experiment was fantastic, and a lot of fun! The talk back as usual was enlightening and interesting. And if you weren’t there you missed out on some really good chocolate birthday cake. All that for 10 bucks, that’s way cheaper then going to a cinaplex to see some movie who’s title you won’t even remember the next day.  Don’t forget they are doing King Lear in 3 weeks!

BARGAIN ($10): “THE TEMPEST” This Weekend by The Maryland Shakespeare Festival

tempest_v2

Tis’ that time of the year again, and the Maryland Shakespeare Festival is putting on another Bare Bard, this time The Tempest! Finally, finally,  I get to see The Tempest! And why is this so important?? Since I won’t read a play or watch a DVD of the performance till I see it live,  I will finally get a chance to see “Forbidden Planet”. You know Forbidden Planet? The Tempest in space?…with Walter Pidgeon and Robby the Robot? Hey’ Don’t laugh. It’s one of the highest rated “Shakespeare” productions on IMDB and has the exact same rating of 7.80 as ‘The West Side Story” (based on Romeo and Juliet).  So scoff if you will, Forbidden Planet is mine!

Anyway, Back to the Bare Bard… If you haven’t seen one, give this one a chance. A Bare Bard is where professional actors come from around the county, meet up on Friday, and in 24 hours put on a full production. I have seen 2 other Bare Bards, and REALLY enjoyed both. It’s like seeing Shakespeare on a high wire without a net. There’s no sleepwalking these lines, they are freshly learned and the energy is raw.

Links: http://mdshakes.com

ALSO:  Don’t forget that The Maryland Shakespeare Festival has a donation drive going, and that the Nora Roberts Foundation is matching every dollar dontated! So support your local Shakespeare.

FREE! May 8th & 9th Olney Maryland: National Players As You Like It

poster_ayliOkay, now this is getting bad… I am going on my honeymoon the same weekend that the National Players are set to perform “As You Like It” just 20 minutes north of me in Olney, another play I haven’t seen! Worse yet, it’s FREE!!! As I stated before, I love reading Shakespeare, but won’t read a play till I have seen it live first. I’ve seen 12 so far and figure at this rate I should be done with all his plays in about 10 or 15 years. Which if ya think about it is kinda cool (Anticipation and all that)… Anyway’ enough about my adventures in Shakespeareland,  Here’s the details.

As You Like It May 8 & 9, 7:30 PM.

Link:  http://nationalplayers.tripod.com/index.html

Note of interest: The “National Players” is the longest-running classical touring company in the United States.

HELP!! The Maryland Shakespeare Festival is Still in Danger of Losing its Home!

sad_shakespeare1So’ The Frederick Maryland community wants a year round Shakespeare theater, YEAH!!!  WHOOHOO!!! YIPPEE!!!…  BUT’ hold on,  there is one person (really, only one) in ALL of Frederick (Or Maryland OR the Continental United States!) that doesn’t want local Shakespeare because he doesn’t want the traffic? In the heart of Frederick? a block away from  from Night Clubs and Restaurants? Held in wonderful old church that happens to house an Elizabethan Theater!

Here’s the deal’ the gentleman opposing the plays is a retired lawyer, apparently a good one at that. So can ya guess how much this court case costs him? (Remember 19 words back “Retired Lawyer!”). Now’ can you guess how much it is costing MSF? I would think more then they can afford to lose. But ultimately if we lose the Maryland Shakespeare Festivals new home the real cost will be born by the community.

So’ please go to their website, and if you can help out with a donation, that would be GREAT! But cha’ know what, just showing up at their productions is a fantastic way of  supporting them and the community. Not to mention you’ll get an entertaining experience in the bargain.

Help out by going to the Maryland Shakespeare Festivals website at http://mdshakes.org and don’t forget their doing THE TEMPEST – Bare Bard, This weekend!!!

Latest News article on the court case: Shakespeare in peril

FREE April 13th : Folger’s – Shakespeare Birthday Lecture: “Sensational Shakespeare”

Reactions to Shakespeare have varied from tears to rapture to outrage. Professor Russell Jackson looks at historical performances to explore how extreme staging and audience responses have produced “Sensational Shakespeare.”

April 13,   8pm at the Folger’s Elizabethan Theatre

See link for Details http://www.folger.edu/woSummary.cfm?woid=499

FREE: April 23rd ASC Does Shakespeare’s Birthday plus more…

Shakespeares BirthdayIt seems the American Shakespeare Center would like to invite you to a special celebration of William Shakespeare’s Birthday happening on April 23rd with cake and contests , and much mirth and merriment.  RSVP requested, more details at this Link: http://www.americanshakespearecenter.com/v.php?pg=380

BUT… That’s not all, as  I was bouncing around their web  site to see what else was going on that weekend, it turns out on  Saturday the 25th they’re having their annual  “Stark Raving Sane Benefit” at 5:30 pm at the  Blackfriars Playhouse. Looks like it will be a lot of fun also, so check out that  Link: http://www.americanshakespearecenter.com/calendar.php?d=%272009-04-25%27

If you do decide to go to Staunton you can check out this prior post  for ideas about where to eat, stay etc…   Link:  Staunton VA, and the American Shakespeare Center. The best hidden spot in the world.

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