Friday, Jun 23, 2017

Posts Tagged ‘John Tufts’

Henry V

What would you do if you were an unruly prince who suddenly discovers that he wants to be king? We’ve enjoyed watching Shakespeare’s version of this tale in the two Henry IV plays, and it culminates in the ever-popular Henry V. A life of dissipation would not seem to prepare one to be king, but when John Tufts’ Henry turns his back on his barfly friends, it is a seminal moment of growing up.

Now, he is king. But France does not take him seriously. The Dauphin certainly does not, sending him a box of tennis balls to play with, abjuring him from ever coming to France. And so the tale is set and spun. We watch in joy as the young man grows in power, developing a canny political side, inspiring his troops in the face of seeming failure, and (in the end) softening to become an ardent wooer.

Pride and Prejudice (2010)

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

Pride and Prejudice is the cure for what ails you. A sunny, unabashedly romantic production, it shines on the Angus Bowmer stage with polished acting and production values that will keep you entertained throughout. This isn’t a piece to make you question the nature of etc etc… It’s a straight-forward entertainment that succeeds admirably in its goals. One might quibble at the hurried pace it keeps through the opening scenes, but overall it holds together quite well.

All’s Well That Ends Well (2009)

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

My default position towards All’s Well That Ends Well is “Eeeugh.” The play isn’t written for modern sensibilities, true, but I can’t help the disgust I feel towards the treatment of Helena and, worse, her willingness to shoulder the appalling burden that Bertram places upon her. When Diana is describing Bertram’s wooing (to Helena!) I just want to slug him.

The fact that I was crying at the Epilogue is thus a testament to the miracle I saw in the New Theatre today.

Equivocation (2009)

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by Jenny Graham

The word on the street is that Equivocation, a new play by Bill Cain that receives its world premiere in this year’s repertoire at OSF, is something special – darkly funny, profound and illuminating. The word on the street is bang on – this is a passionate, exhilarating play that is more timely than any work about a turn-of-the-17th-Century acting company has any right to be.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2008)

If you’ve already seen one or six productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and you’re thinking that you can skip this year’s production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival… wrong wrong-y wrong wrong. Assuming you can still get tickets, buy two: one to see the show, and one to sacrifice to Dionysus as an apology. There is so much good about this production that I have to start the kudos with Mark Rucker, a new director to the Festival. He is absolutely fearless in the chances he takes, embracing them rapturously rather than mincing them for fear of rejection.