Sunday, March 25, 2007

A New Season at ASC

Today’s performance of The Brats of Clarence at The Blackfriars Playhouse marks the end of the American Shakespeare Center’s 2007 Actors’ Renaissance Season. I managed to see each of the five shows once, despite the fact that I got a late start by being in Mexico for the first half of January. In truth, I saw all of those shows over a five-week period, from February 10 to March 17. I think my least favorite was The Devil is an Ass, in part because it seemed to lack energy--whether because of the actors, or the audience, or the work itself I can’t say. Second least favorite was probably The Duchess of Malfi. That one I think was John Webster’s fault—it just didn’t grab me the way Shakespeare’s tragedies do (and yet I heard a couple of woman who saw the show another night say they were in tears). The remaining three plays I liked a lot, so lets just call it a tie for my favorite of the season: Hamlet (First Quarto), Pericles, and The Brats of Clarence. They all hummed: Brats was clever and funny; Hamlet was interesting for its differences from the more familiar version, and Hamlet was outstanding; and Pericles, being unknown to me, was tight and held my interest.

The Spring Season 2007 (with the touring company) starts this coming weekend with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cyrano de Bergerac and Julius Caesar, running through mid June.

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