This August marked my third trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and overall it was another great experience. Nothing was as good this year as the stunning production of Measure for Measure that we saw a few years ago but a few things came close, including the King Lear (the Michael Winters version) and Naomi Wallace's The Liquid Plain, with a spectacular performance by Kimberly Scott. (I'm very sorry for the festival that she won't be returning next year.) I enjoyed the dark and sometimes comic, The Unfortunates too, which began as a musical actors' Midnight Project. I'll confess though that there were about 8 laborious minutes of it, beginning at almost quarter after two, that made me want to call for a rewrite, before it got back on track. Kate Mulligan was amazing as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Rachel Warren was a great Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and the cast is very energetic. Unfortunately, the two grand pianos often completely dominated the lyrics making for some frustrating moments. The staging, however, is clever, so there was always something to watch. And yes, I prefer to think that the end is Henry Higgins' fantasy, as would Shaw if he were to view this production. Cymbeline was a pleasant surprise, playing up the fairy tale aspects of this rarely performed "romance." A Midsummer Night's Dream, unfortunately, was a drag, with the last twenty minutes feeling like an eternity at a bad classroom production. I have to admit that setting it in an American Catholic high school in 1964 did serve to make sense of some of the impulsive and immature behaviour of the four lovers and add some humour to the relationship of Theseus and Hippolyta who are a priest and a nun leaving their orders in this version. Unfortunately, the Fairy Queen was lifeless and Oberon merely cranky and I wasn't captured by Nick Bottom's gym teacher routine. So, overall a disappointment. The Tenth Muse was interesting, although it began badly, and still feels one or two drafts short of a finished play. Judith-Marie Bergan felt convincing as the controlling political mother superior and Sofia Jean Gomez and Sabina Zuniga Verela do their professional best with what they've been given to play. If you are eight years old or a fan of traditional pantomime you may enjoy, The Heart of Robin Hood. My partner and I, however, found it simply silly and regretted buying tickets. We didn't regret though attending the many free post performance audience discussions or buying tickets for the noon lectures and pre-play prologues or attending the very interesting back stage tour. All added a great deal to the enjoyment of this wonderful theatrical experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.