Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rap, Muses, Robin Hood, and an Old Geezer King Named Lear

 We recently had a great time in Ashland Oregon seeing four plays in three days.  The Shakespeare Festival has become one of our must see events over the last 15 years.
We saw King Lear first and thought it the best both of us had seen. The staging was perfect as were the costumes. Set in current times and with a few audio gags placed well, it give us lots of "types" to deal with and brings us to a deeper understanding of the play. I have had many people over the years tell me they had avoided Lear because it is so depressing. This one is indeed depressing but when the audience stands and cheers at the end it may be worth seeing.
Next we saw "The Tenth Muse", a fascinating tale of Spanish Catholics during the 18th-century convent in colonial Mexico, young nuns and servants find plays written by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a nun and famous intellectual who died 20 years earlier after falling out of favor with the church.They act out the plays and play cat and mouse with the Mother Superior. A chilling tale of suppression and human nature worth seeing!
We stayed at The Winchester Inn where we also had dinner the first night. Alchemy is the on site eatery and is one of the finest in Ashland. Read the recent Oregon Wine Press 
and learn more about why we eat so much in Ashland. A new shirt was on the list of things to get while down there. There is one of the best men's stores around on Main Street, Nimbus.
Though they have much more than cloths, they are the go to place for the "nice".
After a visit to Illahe Gallery and Studio where we saw a piece worth owning by the owner,Susan Springer. 
We have a 24 hour rule when purchasing art so we called her the next day and made arrangements to pick it up. While waiting for the play we went by one of our favorite watering holes, Liquid Assets.
Linda tasted an array of French wines and I stuck to my Oregon guns and did a Dion '09 Pinot Noir (nice brick red with blach cherry and papper on the nose with a spicy, exiting taste and a long smooth finish) , a '07 Claret from Trium  (a light clean taste with an ever changing profile, great for food pairings)
a Slagle Creek '09 Merlot (this one was a surprise! Peppery, currents, olives and spice on the nose and a rich taste  with smooth mouthfeel and sweetish finish! Still available from the winery so GET SOME!)
we saw them in the window the night before on our way to sip at 
We then saw Robin Hood...I shall leave judgement of that one to the gods.
Sunday morning we stopped by Manzanita on Main and bought two concrete sheep, yes, I said concrete sheep. Linda likes sheep and we just could not resist.
 After parking and having a wonderful brunch at Larks, we walked up the trail an Lithia Park and enjoyed the cool woods. We also discovered a new spice shop, The Spice and Tea Exchange, and I got to taste Ghost Pepper salt! Nearly killed me! But we ended up loading our bag with a great collection of spices and salts.

On the way back down from our walk we stopped at a Sunday market along the creek and bought two handmade brooms from Cheri Hammons.
Then it was off to our final show, The Unfortunates .
This is one of the most compelling and powerful plays I have seen this year. The music, acting, concept, staging, and script all come together for a memorable 90 minutes you shan't soon forget. 
 Then we stopped by and picked up our artwork.

 We made great time on the way home and got in before dark, brought in our prizes, had a glass of Fleur de Roy Rose of Pinot Noir '11 and relaxed.

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