Sunday, June 2, 2013

Ashland or Bust: OSF Bound

Three days in Ashland at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival coming up with Dennis Sparks this week and that means three (actually six) reviews for you.

We'll see a play each day for three days beginning Tuesday. Look for the first review to be posted Wednesday, with one following Thursday and one on Friday.

We'll be seeing "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams on day one. Southern aristocrat Blanche, down on her luck, is reduced to living with her sister Stella and Stella’s pugnacious blue-collar husband, Stanley. Life with them in their tiny tenement apartment is unbearable until a kindly suitor appears and seems to offer Blanche a ticket to a better life. But Stanley, bristling at Blanche’s high-handed dismissal of him, sets out to dismantle her genteel façade, hurtling them toward an epic battle in Williams’ Pulitzer Prize–winning classic.

We'll also be seeing "Two Trains Running." It’s 1969, and change is in the air. But for the owner of a threadbare diner in a dying Pittsburgh neighborhood, the civil rights movement may just be an impractical dream. Torn between whether to gamble on an urban-renewal buyout or sell his building to a predatory businessman, he finds himself caught between idealism and brutal reality. August Wilson’s searing portrait of African-American life in the ’60s tells a complex story of the inner lives of ordinary people at an explosive turning point in American history.

Finally, there's the new musical "The Unfortunates." A musical pilgrimage through uniquely American genres delivers five prisoners to salvation — or at least keeps the terror at bay. Facing an uncertain end, they bring to life the story of Big Joe, a tough bartender who risks everything to save the armless courtesan Rae from a deadly plague. Combining the heat of a gospel revival with the sweet sorrow of the blues, "The Unfortunates" convinces us that any great challenge can be faced with dignity, grace, and compassion.

No comments:

Post a Comment