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

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 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

Theatre [502]’s The Two Lobbyists of Verona

Hello! We went to see THE WORLD PREMIERE of The Two Lobbyists of Verona by Theatre [502]. This is one of two plays for the community partners’ week of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. It is amazing!

Here is a short summary of the play: First there is a large hurricane that damages most of Verona, Kentucky. After the hurricane a lobbyist named Xander Blackmore and his assistant Mabel came to Verona. They say that there is a large amount of oil under a plot of land and that no one knows who owns it. Then they all find out that the owner of the land is James Fortune, the uncle of Katie Connelly. Will Mabel and Mr. Blackmore frack Verona? Will there be a fight over the land? Will we stop saying will? Is it still cheating when a teacher cheats? Answer 3/4 of these questions by watching Two Lobbyists of Verona.

Our first favorite scene was the first storm scene; we liked how teenage reporter Peggy Boatswain, played by Andrea Lowry, reported on the hurricane and how beach balls and fish were being thrown at her. We liked how it was a serious moment that was really funny. Another one of our favorite scenes was the tour scene because you got to imagine what the World of Will looked like.

Our first favorite character was Xander Blackmore, played by Micheal Drury. We liked his sense of humor. Also we like how he thinks differently then most other characters in the play. We also liked how he was cunning and sneaky. Our other favorite character was Virgil Stubbs, played by Lucas Adams, because he was a very funny lawyer with a desire to be an actor.

There were a lot of references in the play to Shakespeare plays like Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, and Taming of the Shrew. Can you find them all? This was a great play we hope you can go see. It only shows two more times, Saturday and Sunday nights. Remember that Shakespeare in the Park is also part of the Louisville Cultural Pass.

Turtle and Moose

The Shakespeare in Central Park Season Has Begun

Hello! Yesterday we started off with the 2015 Kentucky Shakespeare season with The Tempest. It is the first of three Kentucky Shakespeare plays. Then will be one Globe Players play and then 2 community plays.

One of our favorite characters was Prospero, played by Jon Huffman, because he is very important and he is a wizard but he doesn’t like other wizards. Another favorite character was Arial, played by Sarah Jo Provost, because she is a spirit that can do amazing things. She can fly and make people do what she wants. Turtle thinks those are some pretty amazing powers. Arial flies with the power of stage magic.  Arial can move so well; we were very impressed.

The setting of the play is an island full of strange and unusual spirits. One of our favorite scenes is on the boat where Antonio and the rest of the ships members are tossed about by a tempest and then shipwrecked. Another of our favorite scenes is when Arial greets Prospero. She does flips and turns that look really cool. We like how Arial fought for her freedom.

One of our favorite costumes is Caliban’s. It matches the environment and what kind of spirit he is and Dathan Hooper, who played Caliban, uses the costume to really bring Caliban to life. Another favorite costume is the spirits because their colors are simple and truly represent what Prospero needs. We also like how ferocious the spirits can be.

Before the show last night, Matt Wallace, the producing artistic director, was presented with the Allan Cowen Innovation Award. We think that he really deserves it because of the great job he has been doing with Kentucky Shakespeare. We also like the new lighting truss. A lot of people worked really hard so that Kentucky Shakespeare could have a new light bar. As a bonus, the flying equipment is also part of the new light system.

The Tempest plays in Central Park through June 14th and in rotating repertory after that. Whatever you do, don’t miss this show – or Prospero might have to send a tempest after you too!

CenterStage’s Once on This Island

We went to CenterStage’s production of Once on This Island. It was an outstanding performance about 4 gods who tell a story about a celebration of life. One of our favorite characters was Papa Ge, the god of death played by Alonzo Richmond because he was a big part in the play and made Ti Moune make hard decisions. Our other favorite character was Daniel, played by Alfred Jones, Jr., because he had nice voice and was great at dancing, but we think Daniel was kind of evil or something because of how he treated Ti Moune. We thought Jones played the part very well. Our favorite part was when Ti Moune, played by Ciera Richmond, danced with Daniel. The movements of the dance were slow and graceful and then because very quick and energetic. Our favorite costume was Agwe’s because it looked like the ocean with aquamarine and blue. Turtle says that as a turtle he really has to like it. We also just have to talk about the lighting. It was always changing colors and it looked amazing. Our favorite part of the lighting was during most of the songs. It would go light blue, light green, light yellow, dark blue and it looked amazing together in the songs. Here is a short summery of the beginning of the play. There is a big storm and a girl somehow gets stuck in a tree. They think of taking her out and raising her, think better of it, then finally change their minds again and raise her. The two parents called the girl Ti Moune. She was very curious. She finds a person in a car accident and decides to care for him until the father goes to the hotel where the boy lives and they take him back. But the girl wants to go with Daniel, will she go or not? This was a great play that we think you should go and see.

By Turtle & Moose

Savage Rose’s Production of King Lear

Wednesday we went to Savage Rose’s production of King Lear at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and it was cool. Here is a short summery of the beginning of the play. King Lear had a contest to find who loved him the most and the winner would get the most land. The most favored to win, Cordelia, became banished because she would not profess her love in a flowery way. The other two daughters, Regan and Goneril, split the whole land equally. But then everyone finds out the two other daughters are EVIL!!!!! They were awful to their father, the king. They had really mean expressions when they were plotting; we really believed them. One of our favorite characters was Edgar when he was pretending to be Tom because the things he says are funny. Another of our favorite characters was the Fool because he made really funny remarks and he could talk back to the king without getting in trouble. One of our favorite scenes was contest to see who would get the most land because it was very surprising. Another one of our favorite scenes was the fight scene because it was very well coordinated and the deaths seemed so realistic. We think this is another great play you should come and see.

By Moose and Turtle