It was only a few weeks ago that I saw the American Shakespeare Center production of All's Well That End's Well. But this past weekend I saw the show for a second time, as part of an event I organized for the Northwestern University Club of Virginia. I enjoyed the play even more this time, partly, I imagine, because I knew more clearly from the beginning what was going on, so that I saw the characters' motivations. Bertram seemed less absurdly misogynistic this time and more a randy nobleman, but Helen still seemed blind. Bertram's change of heart at the end felt too abrupt the first time around, but this time I realized he'd experienced a lot in the intervening weeks or months, and so his maturation seemed more natural. Another factor might have been where I was sitting, this time being in the second row, with the actors only a few feet away. Wonderfully done.
And after the show my guests moved to the Twelfth Night Inn, a B&B owned by friends of mine, John & Juliette. John is also an NU alum, which is why it works out so well to have our reception there, with Juliette doing the catering. We even managed to catch the end of the NU - Purdue game, which Northwestern won, so it was a fine day all around.