Cincinnati Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor

Hello from Turtle And Moose! Yesterday we watched Cincinnati Shakespeare Company‘s production of The Merry Wives Of Windsor at Central Park for Shakespeare in the Park. This was a very funny play and we hope that you come and see it. The performers came all the way from Ohio to show Louisville this wonderful play.

The play opens with John Falstaff deciding to send identical love letters to Mistress Paige and Mistress Ford, both respectful married ladies. When they get the letters both are disgusted and decide to play a trick on him so he will have no choice but to leave them alone. They invite him over and after evading contact with him for a while, Masters Paige and Ford come home. The mistresses hide Falstaff in a laundry basket and have him taken to the river. He gets dumped in. They decide to play another trick the next day. While Falstaff fall for a trick again? What will happen if the Masters find about their plans? Find out in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Our first favorite characters are Mistress Paige and Mistress Ford. We think they are extremely funny together with their intentionally fake laughs and cries for John Falstaff. They are a comedy duo that is just unforgettable. We love that they thought of these wonderful and torturous ways to mock Falstaff and it was really something to see. Another one of our favorite characters was Pistol because he is funny but he is the only character that refuses to do something too mischievous. He refuses to send the identical love letters to two already married women; it is just over the line for him. He helps John Falstaff rob someone by getting him intoxicated which was hilarious.

One of our favorite scenes is the aftermath of when Falstaff is thrown into the river. It is funny because it is a great way to connect between the pranking scenes. Also it is funny to see Falstaff throw a fish backstage and make everyone scream. Our next favorite scene is technically not a scene, but it is still gut-busting awesome fun. The performers sing at the beginning of the play and right after intermission. They sing songs about sailors, mermaids, blacksmiths, and Scotsman. They were hilarious and had they entire crowd laughing as well, we think that it really tied the entire play together and let us get to know the actors (as they come from the distant land of Ohio.)

This is an amazing play and is hilarious the whole way through. It will be in Louisville one more time on August 8th but you can go to the Cincinnati Shakespeare website to find other places they will be performing too.

Turtle And Moose

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The Globe Players’ The Merchant of Venice

Hello from Turtle and Moose! Yesterday, we saw The Merchant of Venice, performed by The Globe Players and written by William Shakespeare, at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. It is a very comical and enjoyable play that is a must watch for everyone. The Globe Players is a high school troupe that has been working together and learning about Shakespeare for six weeks and they have done a wonderful job with this show.

One of our favorite characters is Shylock because he is greedy and a very visibly evil character. Another one of our favorite characters is Old Gabbo; we love the gut-busting hysteria that comes after he cries. It is the perfect funniest, saddest, most awkward thing we have ever seen. We love when he always turns the wrong way when he is talking to people and it takes his son pushing his face toward the person he is speaking to for it to be a legitimate conversation.

One of our favorite scenes is when Shylock and Antonio first meet to discuss the terms of a loan. It sets up the goals and motivations for Shylock and tells us why people seem to hate him. It also provides a view of the very contrasting Antonio. Another one of our favorite scenes is when Portia and Nerissa are chewing out their husbands because they gave away their wedding rings as demanded by a judge and his clerk. It turns out that Portia and Nerissa are very involved in this test of faithfulness of their husbands. More we cannot say. (This scene could have mixed reviews, however; if Gollum were to see it, he would be unhappy with the treatment of these rings and would go back to his cave thoroughly disgusted.)

The plot of the story is that Bassanio is madly in love with the heiress Portia. In order to win her, he must participate in a contest consisting of a choice between three caskets. One will win him marriage with Portia, but choosing poorly will have negative consequences, as other suitors have already discovered. He succeeds in this trial and they become happily married. However, Bassanio lives far away from Portia and cannot pay for the journey or his expenses, so his dear friend and wealthy merchant, Antonio, agrees to help. Antonio has many active ventures and is cash-poor, so they both go to a money lender by the name of Shylock. Shylock, who strongly resents Antonio for his willingness to lend money without interest, enters into a bond that would cut off a pound of Antonio’s flesh if Antonio is not able to repay the loan. Shylock is utterly broken after a friend of Antonio’s runs off with Shylock’s daughter and the daughter runs off with a large sum of Shylock’s money. Tragedy strikes Antonio’s ventures and so Shylock, in a fit of revenge, is determined to get his flesh. Despite the bond being legal, the court settles the matter against Shylock. The judge asks for the wedding rings of Bassanio and his friend and they reluctantly give them, even though they had sworn to always keep them on. What is the unusual connection between the courts and their wives? They go home to a steamed Portia and Nerissa, but how this end up? Will the men be forever lonely because of their mistake, or will all be forgiven because of the good reason to give the rings up? Find out, in The Merchant of Venice.

The Merchant of Venice is an amazing play. You can see it in Central Park at 8 pm Thursday, July 27th through Saturday, July 29th. Don’t miss this excellent production, and don’t forget to bring your Cultural Pass!

 

Turtle and Moose

Julius Caesar

Yesterday we saw Julius Caesar by Kentucky Shakespeare. It was a great play and this season’s tragedy. One of our favorite characters was Brutus, played by Dathan Hooper, because even though he killed Caesar he thought he was doing it for the sake of all Romans (However true you may or may not find that to be). He was fighting an inward battle against his country and his friendship of Caesar. He was definitely one of the most fleshed out characters Shakespeare has ever written about. Another one of our favorite characters was the soothsayer, played by Neill Robertson. We liked the absolute urgency in his voice and he completely nailed the walking on stage. He seemed like someone that we would have really believed in real life if he told us it was the end of the world.

One of our favorite scenes was when Caesar was killed. After Caesar was murdered, Brutus explained why it was justified. Mark Antony talked about what could happen now that Caesar is dead and not about how it was wrong because he could be killed for saying the latter. Another one of our favorite scenes was when Caesar’s wife was warned not to go to the senate meeting. It was heartwarming to see how much his wife cared about him but it also showed his glaring ignorance when he changed his mind because another person said so. A quick moral is, trust your instincts and trust your wife more than some thick, persuading senator. It was this scene that ended with Caesars death, all because he didn’t trust his wife. We also liked Mark Antony’s speech at Caesar’s funeral. He really manages to twist the knife over what Brutus has done even while reminding the audience what an “honorable man” Brutus is.

This play is a tragedy, meaning blood everywhere and no marriages! It starts with Romans, including Caesar, coming back from a successful war and a party being held in celebration. On Caesar’s way to the celebration he is stopped by a soothsayer that warns him to beware the ides of March, which basically means to be careful on March 15th. Caesar basically laughs off the warning. Meanwhile, Cassius convinces Brutus to conspire against Caesar for the good of Rome. Caesar also ignores the warnings of his wife and goes out on March 15th on the advice of a senator. Caesar is murdered shortly thereafter. The conspirators were forced out of the city, but what does that mean for the people of Rome, how will Brutus face the fact that he killed his friend in cold blood for even what Brutus believes to be good reasons. Find out in Julius Caesar. This was a very fun play to watch. The gruesomeness of the bloody deaths is well simulated so watch for it! You can see this play in rotating rep and can find all dates and info on KY Shakespeare’s site. This was an excellent play and we hope that you come and see it. Don’t forget that Shakespeare in the Park is part of the Louisville Cultural Pass as well.

Turtle and Moose