OSF Thumbnails , The Curse of The Goddamned Ship
Three intrepid reviewers (Chuck Adams, Anna Grace and Suzi Steffen) popped down to Ashland to continue our quest for the perfect theatrical getaway. Watch for our special Oregon Shakespeare Festival issue on July 17, when we interview new Artistic Director Bill Rauch, tour the costume facilities and learn how to self-integrate with movement and fight director John Sipes — plus we’ll provide full-length reviews. In the meantime, we present short takes on the plays that have opened since we last were there (those reviews online in the March 27 archive at www.eugeneweekly.com and tix are available at www.osfashland.org):
• A Comedy of Errors (Elizabethan Stage) Shakespeare’s confounding comedy is adapted into a rough-and-tumble musical Western that manages to be a madcap romp and, despite its overindulgences and low humor, an entertaining piece of ensemble work. — CA
• Coriolanus (New Theatre) A lone individual against the masses, Coriolanus (Danforth Comins) is a noble soldier whose thick head gets him in to deep trouble. Lots of guys yelling a lot with the occasional moment of pathos in the New Theatre’s intimate setting. — SS
• The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler (Bowmer Theatre) Pretty, witty, gay and hyper-referential, Coos Bay native Jeff Whitty’s tale of a quest for redefining identities combines Mammy from Gone With the Wind, the boys in the band and Hedda herself for a hilarious romp through fictional history, one that brings up real issues along the way. — AG
• Othello (Elizabethan Stage) Melodramatic to the hilt (so to speak), but the themes of racism, loyalty, jealousy, madness and murder come through mostly due to stunning performances all around and an Iago (Dan Donohue) who can use doublespeak with frightening ease. Make thy comparisons to current politics as you will. — CA
• Our Town (Elizabethan Stage) First time an American play hits the outdoor stage at the OSF is a half-success, with a strong Stage Manager (Anthony Heald) but a weak Emily Webb (Mahira Kakkar). The play’s trademark lack of set works well in Ashland’s pretty summer nights. — SS
Really, we couldn’t think this stuff up. We’re just going to quote from the press release because it’s so superbly bizarre: “Stars and Garters Theatre Co. presents The Curse of The Goddamned Ship, a bawdy vaudevillian musical complete with puppets, dark humor, burlesque, star lore and nautical glee. Live instruments include accordion, banjo, piano, percussive contraption, and slide guitar.” Hunh? Apparently, this involves lots of lusting after inanimate objects, stealing and incurring the wrath of the gods. Yeah! Well, whatever, the San Francisco troupe plays it up at Sam Bond’s at 9 pm Thursday, July 2. Tix are $5, and you can’t beat a deal like that with a large wooden figurehead.