CenterStage’s Kiss Me Kate

Hello from Turtle and Moose! Last night we went to see Kiss Me Kate presented by CenterStage. This is a great play presented with The Taming of the Shrew playing inside of it. What really makes it stand out are the small changes made to the plot of Taming of the Shrew.

Our first favorite characters are the gunman because they are hilarious, especially when they have to act for The Taming of the Shrew. We love the scene where they first appeared because it presents a huge problem needing to be solved while still being hilarious for the entire scene. This was the reason it is one of our favorite scenes. Our next favorite character is Paul. Paul just seems like he wants you to have a good time, he is very nice and respectful, and just looks like the friendliest friend a friend can have. In the song, “Too Darn Hot” his ballet turns are great, and he is also a great singer. “Too Darn Hot” is a great scene as the singing and dancing are great, the snapping all at the same time is amazing, and it is a great scene to immerse you back into their world after the intermission. It is a scene that just had that sort of perfection that you can’t get in that many places.

The play opens with The Taming of the Shrew starting its run soon when Bill Calhoun, a suitor of Bianca in the play, owes some shady characters money because he loses all his money because of his gambling problem. He signs an IOU with the name of Fred Graham. Right before the play starts two men working for the “shady characters” approach the real Fred Graham, the star of the Shrew. They say they need the money soon but Fred has no idea what they’re talking about. What will happen to Fred? Will Bill get away with this? Will the play be able to go on? Find out in Kiss Me Kate.

This was a fantastic play that we hope that you come to enjoy the whole way through. We must warn, however, it may storm after the “Too Darn Hot” scene. The actors did such a good job that Mother Nature thought she would make the stage a bit cooler for the wonderful performers by making it rain (and it didn’t rain money). So the performance was cancelled part way through for safety, but we are sure that the second half of this play is just as good as the first and it is still very much worth watching. Don’t forget Kentucky Shakespeare is on the Louisville Cultural Pass. This play was a work of art from CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center and we hope that you come out to Central Park to see it.

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

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