Monday, August 25, 2008

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Portland Actors Ensemble ***Photo credit: Annaliese Moyer***
July 26 - September 1, 2008

Summary:

You've heard about it in the movie Shakespeare in Love, now see what all the fuss was about! PAE concludes its 39th year of FREE Shakespeare-in-the-Parks with the Bard's unique (and controversial) commentary on friendship and fidelity in one of his earliest comedies (and there's a bit with a dog)!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Needed more cowbell.

Jeremy Lillie said...

If y'all are planning on catching this show this weekend, be on the Front Lawn of Reed College by at least 2:30. It'll fill up fast.

For those who didn't catch it, a review from Grant Butler of the Oregonian:
http://www.oregonlive.com/performance/index.ssf/2008/07/review_two_gentlemen_an_inthep.html

Jeremy Lillie said...

. . . Oh, and the "cowbell issue" has been addressed.

Anonymous said...

One of the best shows I've seen in a loooooong time. THIS is what ensemble acting is all about. Everyone complimented each other perfectly. Good work!!!!!

Greg Heaton said...

Look, Phil made a comment!

Phillip M. Meyer said...

Uh... actually, that wasn't me...

-Phil-

Anonymous said...

You could hear every word. No mean trick in some of these parks. The pace was lively and the language was well handled. People had a tendency to shout sometimes, but better that than not being heard or understood. A very good job with one of Shakespeare's less than stellar plays. The truly awkward ending was handled about as well as humanly possible.

The actress who played Julia is adorable by the way. Where did she come from? The programs don't have actor bios in them. Has she done other work here in town? Definitely a talented new ingenue in town to watch for.

Anonymous said...

Really? Because I thought it was actually quite bad, even by PAE standards (though not as terrible as their Julius Ceasar, which was the worst show I've ever seen in my entire life).

David Loftus said...

Really? The worst show you've ever seen in your entire life? That's quite an achievement. It's too bad you didn't take the trouble to explain to anyone under the "Julius Caesar" entry here on Followspot just why or how it was so terrible. Somebody might have actually learned something. At least we might have been in a position to assess whether you have the faintest idea what you're talking about when you throw out a wholesale opinion. Even if it is anonymous. I'm sorry I missed "Two Gents"; it's far from my favorite Shakespeare show, but I heard some good things about this production, and I was in rehearsal at Eliot Hall last Sunday, about a quarter mile away, when they bravely shouldered on through a cloudburst -- I had to admire that, at least. I understand they lost only 16 of their estimated 200-strong audience that afternoon. That says something lovely about the production AND its viewers.

Anonymous said...

Didn't see Julius Caesar so I can't comment, but no, I thought it was lively, well paced and charming. Again, it's not a very good play but all Shakespeare companies have to do it at some point I suppose. For what it was, it was very well done.

I'm curious if you don't like this company's work why you see so much of their stuff? You went to Caesar, thought it was "the worst play you've ever seen" and still went to see that same company's production of Two Gents (generally considered to be a far inferior play)? Are you a glutton for punishment? I'm serious here. That's just weird

Phillip M. Meyer said...

Perhaps this anonymous person saw our Washington Park performances. They were certainly not our best effort...

One thing we must all remember, I think, about theatre is that every night is a different battle. No matter how good the play is, and how well rehearsed, you can still lose the battle. We might have lost the battle when this person saw the performance.

Having said that, I WOULD like to know what in particular was bad about the performance that this person saw, from this person's point of view. No one learns anything from generalized statements. Just as no one learns from a closed mind or ear. My ears are open. I am interested, sir.

-Phillip M. Meyer-

David Loftus said...

Tuesday night at my "Story Time for Grownups" reading of selections from the works of Italo Calvino, I met a young man who is looking for actors to do a table reading of a script he's working on, and he mentioned he had seen "Two Gents" and liked it very much. Non-actor friends of mine saw it twice. Maybe this production was pitched to please a general audience, as opposed to overknowledgeable and snooty theater types?

Phillip M. Meyer said...

I would beware generalizing with the word "snooty." I do understand your point of view, and agree with is: The play was put on to appease a general audience. The setting was not a traditional theatre space with all sorts of blackouts and design elements. Our audience members were at a picinic wanting to be entertained.

Having said that, should we not strive for higher art in everything? Now, personally, I believed we achieved a high form of art. However, when talking about that next level (art over entertainment) everyone's tastes vary. If someone finds it bad, or dislikes it, I am fine with that. Those people should have their voices heard just as much as the people who wish to praise. But just as the people who praise works must, the people who dislike and critisize must back their statements up with specifics.

I do very much appreciate your comments regarding how well people liked the show. I do wish that other person would post again. I want to pick his/her brain to find what they actually felt about the play...