Category Archives: Canada
Looks like we need to make a return visit next year to Stratford Ontario, home of the famous Shakespeare Festival (and yes, Justin Bieber.) We used to go to Stratford a lot when I was growing up in suburban Detroit – which is a few hours drive away – but it’s been at least ten years since we’ve returned. The 2013 season includes a production of the “Merchant of Venice” (starring veteran Stratford actor Brian Bedford as Shylock) AND “Tommy”, the rock musical based on The Who’s rock opera. I saw a ballet set to “Tommy” when I was in high school in Detroit – and am pretty sure I can still sing most of the lyrics to the opera. Actor Brian Dennehy will star in Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” which I haven’t read since high school. Also on tap: “Romeo and Juliet” and “Othello.” The NYTimes travel section recently had a story about Stratford and it looks like there’s a lot more there than there was 40-some years ago when I started going to plays there with my parents.
Shakespeare is here, there, everywhere and we’ve seen some of it – unfortunately not in Stratford, Ontario for about ten years. I used to go there a lot as a kid growing up in suburban Detroit and judging from a recent NYTimes review of “Stratford’s” latest season it’s as good as ever with Christopher Plummer, at age 80 no less, among the performers. In March we saw a very modern Hamlet at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland
And on Thursday, we saw a lively production of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (a rather silly play methinks) performed by the Repertory Theater of Iowa on the lovely grounds of Salisbury House, an old English stone and brick mansion in, of all places, Des Moines that provides a perfect backdrop for a Shakespearean play. A local tycoon built Salisbury House in the 1920s, inspired by a visit to the King’s House in Salisbury, England, which dates back to the 13th century according to Wikipedia. (And judging from the pix of Kings House, the Des Moines replica is pretty darned close.) Catch the “Merry Wives” while (and if) you can – performances through this Sunday…