Thursday, July 02, 2009

Twelfth Night

Prior to last weekend, I'd never been to Shakespeare in the Park in New York City. I went to the one in Buffalo regularly growing up, but that's pretty different. They use the same set every year, the acting is not particularly good, and you certainly don't have to line up. You just show up kind of early with your lawn chair or blanket and some food and sit on this little slope. At intermission the actors come around collecting donations and while I don't know if it's still there, there used to be an ice cream place nearby in the park and we always made an intermission ice cream run. It's fun and summery and totally laid back.

Getting in line at central park at 6:10 in the morning--and being well back from the front of said line--is pretty much the opposite of laid back. And that's not even taking into account the fact that they have a security guy policing the line and explaining the rules. Which isn't to say that it was a drag or anything. We were right across from a big open space, which was nice.

Right across from our spot in line.

Early in the day the park is full of big dogs running around off leash, and my friend and I had fun watching them play. And there are worse ways to spend a beautiful Sunday then hanging out in Central Park snacking, reading, and playing games. Actually, I can't think of many better ways to spend a Sunday in late June.

We collected our tickets--our seats were near the back but not too far from the center--and walked over to the farmers market behind the Museum of Natural History to buy lunch. A lunch which included some fantastic strawberries. Then right back to the park where we hung out until my friend's parents met us for dinner and the show.

I'd had a nice day anyway, but the fact that this production of Twelfth Night is as good as it is made it pretty perfect. It was funny and full of music and acted with great humor and clarity. I liked the entire cast. Also, this production, which is rather traditional, does a particularly nice job of balancing the comedy with the more serious aspects of the love and loss in the story. And to be honest, I tend to prefer my Shakespeare traditional, particularly when it's being performed in this kind of setting where people just want to enjoy the show after spending a day in line and out in the sun.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the whole day, although it can't hurt that it was such a pleasure just to have a beautiful day after the weather that plagued us for pretty much the entire spring. It's something I'll look forward to doing again (next year).

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