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

Kentucky Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Hi, this is Turtle and Moose, two gentlemen of Louisville, here to tell you about Kentucky Shakespeare’s play The Two Gentlemen of Verona. This version of the play is set in 1919 at the end of WWI. There are lots of fun musical numbers in this performance that make it feel more alive. It all starts in Verona when Valentine (played by Zachary Burrell) leaves for Milan while Proteus (played by Jon Patrick O’Brien) stays in Verona to woo Julia (played by Maggie Lou Rader). Neither know of each other’s love until a love letter from Proteus says otherwise. When Proteus gets the response, his father sends him to the Duke and Valentine meets him. Proteus finds out about the love between Silvia (played by Arielle Leverett) and Valentine. But he secretly likes Silvia too, so he tells the Duke that Valentine likes Silvia so Valentine is banished from Milan. Valentine soon meets a group of outlaws (played by Bryon Coolie, Neil Robertson, and Braden McCampbell) and becomes their leader. We know that this is a comedy, so somebody’s going to get married. Who will it be…?

Crab, played by Hope, is a very special part of the performance. She is a therapy dog and is breaking the boundaries of cute. Our favorite characters are Launce (played by Gregory Maupin) and Speed (played by Abagail Bailey Maupin). They are servants of the gentlemen of Verona. They are good friends just like their bosses and they have the best costumes of any of the male characters. We like how they sing duets together just like we do. One of our favorite scenes is the outcast/wilderness scene when Valentine finds a group of outlaws. It is amusing how Valentine started scared of them but ends up as their leader when he tells them he had killed a man (lies!). Our other favorite scene is the first scene which is a musical. We like how it sets the stage for the rest of the play and shows how colorful life is in Verona. It has a person riding a bike across the stage which we think is funny. It is also our first look at Crab the dog.

Remember that the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival series is on the Cultural Pass and that you get a special prize for seeing each of the plays. It was an amazing play and we expect more amazing Shakespeare later this summer.

Thanks for reading,

Turtle and Moose

Kentucky Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet

Hello! It’s Turtle and Moose and we saw Kentucky Shakespeare’s performance of Romeo and Juliet at Iroquois Amphitheater for Shakespeare in the Parks.

Our first favorite character was Tybalt because he is evil. He is a good fighter and is ready to protect his family name – until he died. Another one of our favorite characters was Romeo. We liked his brave love for Juliet and that he would literally die for her. We liked that he wanted to put their family differences aside and be friends.

One of our favorite scenes was when Paris and Romeo had the “Final Showdown” (quotes intended). We liked the emotion and the epic fight. Another of our favorite scenes was the opening scene. It was a good monologue and a great start for the play.

Romeo goes to a Capulet party to see Rosaline but instead meets Juliet who he likes more. Romeo sneaks out at night to see Juliet and they agree to get married. After they are married Romeo and Mercutio meet Tybalt who wants to kill them. Tybalt kills Mercutio and Romeo kills Tybalt. Romeo is then banished from Verona. Then because no one knows Romeo and Juliet are married. Juliet’s father tries to make Juliet marry Paris. Juliet drinks a sleeping potion to make her go into a coma so it looks like she is dead. Will Juliet have to marry Paris? Will Romeo and Juliet meet again? Find out in Romeo and Juliet.

This was a great performance from Kentucky Shakespeare. We want to thank all of the sponsors for Shakespeare in the Parks – Mayor Susan Barto, City of Lyndon, Mayor Bill Dieruf, City of Jeffersontown, Mayor Jeff Gahan, City of New Albany, Mayor Mike Moore, City of Jeffersonville, Louisville Metro Council members Jessica Green, Barbara Shanklin, Cheri Bryant Hamilton, David James, Angela Leet, Ton Owen, Bill Hollander, Pat Mulvihill, Vicki Aubrey Welch, Cindi Fowler, Marianne Butler, Kelly Downard, Glen Stuckel, Stuart Benson, Dan Johnson, James Peden, David Yates, and Humana, Jeffersonville Arts Alliance, Jeffersonville Public Art Commission, Jefferson Main Street, and White Clay. There are 16 more performances of Romeo and Juliet – see Kentucky Shakespeare’s website for dates and locations. We are very much looking forward to the summer season in Central Park. The kickoff of the season is June 1st. See you there!

Moose and Turtle