We met up with Bar & Kong this weekend in Ashland to attend the Oregon Shakespeare Festival performance of Romeo & Juliet. We 'bar-pooled' down from our motel in Medford, arriving in Ashland about 4:40. We walked around a little and then went into Dragonfly for dinner. "A fusion of Latin and Asian food explodes with taste and satisfies the senses.” We dined outside in the 'gardens' and enjoyed a leisurely dinner without interruptions by our little ones. It was wonderful to re-connect as adults! :)After dinner, we attended a 30 minute preface or introduction to the story, themes and characters of "Romeo and Juliet". I was very pleased that we attended as there was a bit of a surprise in this production that otherwise would have been curious. As Romeo & Juliet is a play about opposities (love &amp;amp;amp; hate, light & dark, young & old, family duty & desire), the director, Bill Rauch, chose to showcase these differences through costuming. The older generation would wear 1800s Elizabethian era costumes while the younger generation would be attired in modern-day clothing (Catholic school uniform, short chifon summer dresses, blue jeans and leather jackets, soccer team uniform .... just as you'd see on the streets today). Typically, the Capulets and the Montagues are dressed in contrasting colors (reds hues for one, blues for the other)... but in this case, the families would be otherwise indistinguishable. We'd just have to get to the know the characters through their actions and words.
Before the performance began, we had time to enjoy dessert and cocktails at the Hong Kong Bar (within Zingaro restaurant). We aren't big drinkers - we rarely have cocktails - but this evening afforded itself to the opportunity so we all took part. Yummy! DH tried a Lemon Drop for the first time and asked if I knew how to make them - yes! It will be fun to try out my recipe. :)
The play began at 8:00 p.m. on the Elizabethian Stage (outdoor). It was a beautiful evening and we required just a light sweater for comfort. As the play began, I immediately loved the effect of the costuming! Mercutio, played by Dan Donohue, was one of my favorite characters... he was dressed in blue jeans and a leather jacket and had a tattoo on either side of his neck - (George Clooney style in From Dusk 'til Dawn). He was o convincing!
I bought tickets in December so our seats were fabulous. We were on the left side of the stage in the 2nd row... close enough to reach out and touch the actors (if we had wanted to) and to observe their makeup, but not in the vicinity of an undesired shower (in an effort to project their voices, the actors frequently spray spittle upon those in the first couple of rows).
During the intermission, I noticed two young boys in the row ahead of us. We asked their age and discovered the younger of the two just turned 6 and his older brother was 8. I was immediately impressed for their behavior was commendable. The mother explained that they had been studying Shakespeare for about a year and that they had wanted to come to a performance in 2006 but children under 6 are not allowed. I knew immediately that they were a homeschooling family. It was just a hunch and upon my inquiry, she confirmed my assumption. Bar, Kong and DH were surprised that I knew - it's not as though they had a stamp on their forhead. I just knew.
As we drove back to Medford that evening... we joked around about DHs speed walk back to the car (losing Bar & Kong along the way), our impressions of the play, our plans for breakfast, and other random things that came to mind. All in all it was a fabulous evening. We wish we had arrainged for a longer stay - the time to take in more of the city (Bar & Kong had planned a 'Backstage Tour' on Sunday morning but we had to decline as my mom wanted to get back home before dark and had a few hours drive ahead of her yet). Yet - to have even a few hours to ourselves is a treat. :)