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

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Richard II

Today we bring you a play about the time when kings reined and all who opposed them were banished. That’s right! It’s Shakespeare’s Richard II, a great play about the battles taken and emotional strife caused by those who want to be king, and the kings themselves, playing now in Central Park by Kentucky Shakespeare.

The play opens with Henry Bolingbroke accusing Thomas Mowbray of treason. Both are banished from England by Richard II. Soon after, John of Gaunt, the father of Henry, dies. Richard seizes the property and denies Henry his father’s house and belongings. Trying to get back his life, Henry returns to England while Richard is at Ireland. What will happen when Richard returns? Who will be the new king? Find out in Richard II.

One of our favorite characters was Richard II because he started happy and you could see him change over time. We also liked that he showed compassion and mercy and accepted the fact that he could not be king. Our favorite scene was the trial between Henry and Thomas Mowbray because it was interesting and it was fun to see a battle of wits in between them. We also liked that it was toe to toe and had gut-busting Shakespearean-style humor. The part where gloves were thrown and punches were about to be thrown as well was especially funny. Another favorite character was Henry because he was full of wit; it was great to see the cunning remarks made by him. But in some cases he was kind, when his death was planned; he pardoned one of the planners out of the kindness in his heart. (Even though some would call it attempted murder)

Richard II a really good play. It is the first in the series of four plays called “Game of Kings” were you can see repeating actors play roles in tales of treachery and hope in an uncertain world. Kentucky Shakespeare is on the Cultural Pass  [Calendar here]. If you get a Festival Passport card punched at all the plays then you win a cool prize. This was an amazing play and we hope that you can come and see it.

Louisville Ballet’s Shakespeare in Dance

Today I went to see Shakespeare in Dance at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. It was an amazing performance by the Louisville Ballet.

There are three parts to the show. First is Othello. It is a very powerful play and the movements showed who was in charge. I liked the part when Lago, played by Phillip Velinov, introduced everyone because it was very smooth like he knew something no one else did.

Next is the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene. I like how it is so happy and one could almost hear Juliet, played by Christy Corbitt Miller, say “Romeo, Oh Romeo. Where for art thou Romeo?” Romeo is played by Mark Krieger. It is also striking how easy it is to see that they are happy to see each other.

Finally, there is William’s Folly. I like this because it has many beautiful movements with everyone in exact lines and also because of the musicians. There is a cellist and a violinist, Scott Moore and Charlie Patton. They are also the composers and arrangers of the songs. They play amazing folkish music. A fun bit is that they use Shakespeare’s sonnets. One of the sonnets says to “hear the words with your eyes” which reminded me of the first two ballet scenes that didn’t have words. William Shakespeare was danced thoughtfully by Brandon Ragland, and spoken by Tony Milder and Megan Massie. They were very expressive and entertaining.

This was an amazing play. I hope you can come see it. It is the last play on the Kentucky Shakespeare Passport and it only shows Thursday through Sunday. If you have seen all of them and completed your Passport, you can get a prize.

 

Turtle

CenterStage’s West Side Story

Hello! It’s Turtle and Moose and we went to see West Side Story by CenterStage at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. It is an amazing play and it is based on Romeo and Juliet. It also happens to be a musical.

Here’s the plot of the beginning of the play. On the West Side of New York in the 1950’s there are two gangs – the Sharks and the Jets. They hate each other because the Jets feel like the Sharks are trying to take over their territory and the Sharks feel like they are picked on for who they are by the Jets. After the two gangs get in a street fight, Officer Krupke breaks it up and they all run off. It’s war between the two gangs! Tony, a Jet who is trying to get out of the gang, meets Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks, and they fall in love. The Jets challenge the Sharks to a fight under the highway and the Sharks agree. What will happen in the fight that must be stopped? How will Maria’s and Tony’s love play out? Find out in West side Story.

Our first favorite character is Maria, played by Kate Welsh, because she is so willing to let Tony, played by Andrew Newton, into her life even though he is a Jet. She is also an amazing singer and dancer. Our other favorite character is Riff, played by Mitch Donahue, because he is a creative character who leads the Jets. He never lets go of what he believes in for the Jets but he also listens to Tony to try to keep things under control.

Our first favorite scene is a back alley scene with the Officer Krupke song. It is cool to see what the gangs think about themselves and how Officer Krupke is mistreating them. Our other favorite scene is when they have the dance. The song is called Dance at the Gym. We like how they are all having a good time but as the dance goes on the gangs are still competing with each other. The scene is really well done and beautiful. It was also cool to see Anxious, played by Tyler Rosenblatt, try to break up the fights.

West Side Story plays through August 7th and then the summer season finishes August 10th-14th with Shakespeare in Dance by the Louisville Ballet. Remember that this is also a Louisville Cultural Pass event and the pass ends August 6th.

Turtle and Moose

Globe Players’ As You Like It

Hello! I went to see the Globe Players’ As You Like It at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. It was a really good play and I enjoyed it a lot.

The play opens with Duke Senior being banished by his brother Duke Fredrick. Senior escapes to the Forest of Arden, while his daughter Rosalind stays at the court with her cousin Celia. Orlando tries to leave his unfair brother Oliver by trying to get his share of the fortune. Orlando and Rosalind meet and fall in love. Duke Fredrick banishes Rosalind. Rosalind (disguised as a boy named Ganymede), Celia (disguised as Aliena – sister of Ganymede), and Touchstone the fool leave to find Rosalind’s father in the Forest of Arden.

When they get to Arden they discover that someone has been posting love poems on trees and it turns out to be Orlando. Orlando meets Ganymede and Ganymede makes him act like he is Rosalind to cure his love for her. But for the other characters there is also love. A shepherd named Silvius loves Phoebe who is, in turn, in love with Ganymede. Celia falls in love with Aliena (that’s coincidental) and even Touchstone falls in love with Audrey. Soon Ganymede tries to fix up everything. He asks Phoebe if she will marry Silvius. Phoebe agrees so on the wedding day Ganymede reveals that she is Rosalind. She marries Orlando, Touchstone marries Audrey, Oliver marries Celia and Phoebe marries Silvius and all live happily ever after.

My favorite costume was Charles because he wore red and black shoulder pads with spikes. He also had a manager and an entourage. A really cool thing was all the singing and music. There were electric guitars, guitars, cello, and a banjo. There was also a really amazing dance scene at the end that was really well choreographed. My favorite character was Touchstone because he was funny and like everyone else was also in love. My favorite scene was the Charles wrestling scene because it was in fun to see Charles and Orlando.

Remember that Kentucky Shakespeare is on the Louisville Cultural Pass which is over this coming Saturday. There are two more shows in the park this summer – West Side Story and Shakespeare in Dance.

Moose

The Big Show – Kentucky Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Hi! It’s Turtle and Moose again to talk about the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival’s Romeo and Juliet. This is one of the most well-known plays of Shakespeare and is very tragic. “Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona, where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” Once of the most well-known openings in theatre and with it we learn that Romeo and Juliet will be a story of how two star-crossed lovers from rival families try to find a way to be together.

It starts with the Capulets and the Montagues fighting in the streets of Verona. This is one our favorite scenes because the action was very intense and even with the rain slowing the speed of the fight (for safety’s sake), it was still a thrill to watch. The Prince is angered and says that if there are any more fights between the families then they will be executed. Peter, played by Tony Milder, is a messenger for the Capulets and does not know how to read but he wants to know who he is supposed to invite to a grand party. He asks Romeo who happens to be on the street. Romeo, played by Crystian Wiltshire, is one of our favorite characters because he did everything in his power to see Juliet, played by Megan Massie, and was very intense both in love and in anger. Romeo is reading the list and finds the name Rosaline, with whom Romeo is desperately in love.

Romeo and his friends are not allowed at the party but they show up anyway in masks. Mercutio, played by Bryon Collie and one of Romeo’s friends, is another of our favorite characters because he is funny and sarcastic but is also very serious about his friends. Tybalt, played by Neill Robertson, Juliet’s cousin and a loyal Capulet, shows up and finds out Romeo’s true identity and is hot to avenge this injustice. He is stopped when he tells his uncle and his uncle tells him to leave Romeo alone. Romeo then meets Juliet while dancing and leaves with a heavy heart knowing that he could never be married with her. After the dance Juliet is looking out her window calling Romeo’s name and wishing he was not a Montague. Romeo, who climbed over the walls of the Capulet’s home, miraculously hears her. They talk and they decide to wed, in secret, the very next day.

After the wedding, Tybalt sees Romeo and tries to goad him into a fight but Romeo walks away and Mercutio ends up fighting Tybalt. Tybalt slays Mercutio and then Romeo slays Tybalt in revenge. Romeo is banished. Juliet takes a potion that makes it look like she is dead so she won’t have to marry Paris. Friar Lawrence will then reunite Romeo and Juliet. But the plan fails and Romeo thinks she is dead. Romeo rushes to her tomb with a poison and commits suicide in despair. When Juliet wakes up and finds out that Romeo actually is dead she commits suicide too. This is one of our favorite scenes because of the fight between Romeo and Paris, tragic because of the misunderstandings, and the ultimate tragedy that follows. The two families realize that their hate for each other has caused all of the deaths and make peace and live sadly ever after.

In the first half of the play, the costumes were of the traditional period style but in the second half, the dress because modern with jeans and suits and police in modern uniforms. We believe this is because modern rivalries have just as tragic outcomes as did the families of Verona, and perhaps we can learn from Shakespeare before it is too late.

This was an amazing play and we hope everyone goes to see it. Romeo and Juliet plays through next Tuesday, the 12th, and then all 3 Shakespeare shows will be in rotating rep. Don’t miss any of these shows!

Turtle and Moose

Kentucky Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale

We saw Kentucky Shakespeare’s production of The Winter’s Tale. It is a very funny play even though it started out very much like a tragedy and the change doesn’t take away from the amazingness that are Shakespeare’s plays.

The story starts with Polixenes, the king of Bohemia (played by Gregory Maupin) visiting Leontes, king of Sicilia (played by Dathan Hooper) and his wife Queen Hermione (played by Maggie Lou Rader). We like Mamillius (played by Julian Allen) because is funny and charming and is willing to do whatever his father says. We also like his song at the beginning of the play and how it sets the stage for this excellent show. Leontes thinks that Hermione is cheating on him with Polixenes. Leontes tries to get Camillo (played by Jeremy Sapp) to poison Polixenes but Camillo flees with Polixenes to avoid poisoning him. Antigonus (played by Kyle Ware) is forced to leave Hermione’s newly-born daughter on a desert shore in Bohemia. Hermione is in court for treason but after hearing of the death of her son Mamillius she collapses dead. Antigonus drops off the baby and then is killed by a rapidly-moving bear. A shepherd and his son find the baby Perdita. Will Leontes and Perdita meet? What will Leontes do now? What have Camillo and Polixenes done during this time? The answer to these questions and more are in Act II. Also keep an eye out for Autolycus (played by Neill Robertson) because he is funny and a devious trickster (and not that subtle) pick-pocket.

This is an amazing play put on by Kentucky Shakespeare and we hope you can come see it. If you see each show at least once and have your passport stamped you can get a prize.

Turtle and Moose