Wednesday, July 8, 2009

508. Acting - It's My Blog

One of the freedoms of running your own blog is being able to play god. In the words of America's 44th Best President, "I am the decider." I decide what goes on the blog and what doesn't. I have the power to edit things in or out, such as I did the other night when writing about the mayoral race in 2010. Or I can delete things altogether, such as I did last Summer during my time of troubles with the Kentucky Democratic Party and its former Chair. And, I can allow or disallow comments - leaving up those I deem appropriate and taking down those with which I find disfavor. To be honest, I think I've only deleted two comments, neither one of which were on point; one advocated increasing the size of one's penis, something most of readers probably didn't need to read on my blog as chances are they have received similar advocacy in their email accounts.

With the blog, I can be a political guru, a travel expert, a historical resource, or even a sports prognosticator as I did during the NCAA tournament or just ahead of the Kentucky Derby. And if I only attain 80% accuracy (as my friend Stuart Perelmuter has suggested), it's my blog. My 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Risner, always wanted me to do better than 80% but 80% was all that was required to maintain my Advanced Program status, and thus that's all she got, at least that year.

Tonight, it is my decided role to don a whimsical hat, grab a pen, and play Theatre Critic. I took a Shakespeare class in both high school (from Mrs. Risner) and college (from Iverson Warriner), and passed all of the English lit classes in which I enrolled, which were several - at several different institutions of higher learning. And I was in my high school's Senior Play, both as a junior and a senior. Thus I am, of course, qualified.

So, here is the critique.

Earlier tonight I paid a visit to Louisville's Central Park where the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, North America's longest running outdoor free festival of Shakespearean plays, now in its 49th year, presented its latest rendition of Romeo and Juliet. I had been a few weeks ago to a somewhat lackluster perfomance of Macbeth at the Festival and was hoping to find this production better.

I did.

If I were a good critic, I could tell you who all the actors were, something I should know given that they all played roles in Macbeth a few weeks ago. And several of them are veterans from previous years, including one who tonight played Benvolio, friend to Romeo. He is my favorite of the troupe.

Before the performance I ran into a friend from work, Gail Kaukas, who introduced me to her family. They were decked out in their own chairs prepared for a night of, well, murder. Her husband, tongue-well-placed-in-cheek, asked if I knew how it ended. "They all die," of course is the well-known answer to that question. And "there is some amount of poisoning" I added with delight. I left from their post and ran into a family I know from Advent Church. They too were looking forward to the theatrics of a good and festive bloodletting.

Romeo and Juliet is one of the Bard's plays that most of us can quote a line here and there. And most of us as teenagers played one or the other role in our own lives. Some may still. All in all it was very well done. The scenery was wanting a bit but the costumes were great and the players were outstanding. People like the Nurse, the Friar, and particularly the actor portraying Romeo, who delivered more than a few lines dangling six feet up hanging off the makeshift balcony, on a set that has seen better days. He should be rewarded not only for his acting, but the nerve and valor of speaking whilst climbing on what may be a forty-nine year old set. Ok, the set isn't that old, but it also isn't all that young.

At the beginning of the night, the skies, which had been clear all day, began to over cast our very big small town, but no raindrops fell until just before the closing scene, and then they were very few.

It was a very good show. Romeo and Juliet runs for a few more days. If you haven't been to Shakespeare in the Park lately, this is one to go see.

With that, I will doff my theatre critic hat and return to my regular role of trying valiantly to pass Stuart and Mrs. Risner's 80% mark.

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The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.