Monday, September 03, 2007

Nashville Shakespeare Festival

I was invited by a friend tonight to join her for a little Shakespeare. I'd clipped the ad out of the paper weeks ago, planning to attend a show when the heat died down a little, so tonight's invitation was well received.

This is the 20th year for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and it runs in Centennial Park (the same park that houses the Parthenon). The whole production is similar to Toronto's "Dream in High Park", but much smaller in scale. Smaller theatre and shorter run, but actually a little more ambitious in that they do 2 different shows. Tonight was "Two Gentlemen of Verona".

The set was beautiful, simply painted to look like the outside of a village courtyard, with 2 levels to provide the requisite balconies. I've never read Two Gentlemen, but I have to assume they made cuts because the whole thing ran in 2 hours, plus intermission. They used a lot of clown and commedia elements, which was interesting, and mostly effective. The costumes were great, and the physical comedy was charming. But it was Crab, the black Labrador retriever, (Launce's companion) who stole every scene he was in!

Mostly for me, though, it was just a great overall experience. I love live theatre, especially outdoors. The element of the unexpected rises through the non-existent roof when performing outdoors. There was the guy who started up his Harley just feet from the back of the theatre, and the helicopter that flew overhead during the romantic climax of the show. There was the dog who freaked out when he saw actors enter through the audience, and the girl on her cell phone in the row behind me. "Yah, I'm at the Shakespeare thing...Yah, I'll call you back...!" Ladies and gentlemen, the Bard in the yard!

To rewind a little, I came home from church today completely inspired to write! I spent a long time doing a much needed rewrite of "Sure As The Sun". It's much better now, but I'm going to get Gerald's opinion tomorrow. I finished the Song U course Commercial Song Forms, which was excellent, and I continued to poke through Jason Blume's classic songwriting book, "Six Steps to Songwriting Success". He has a lyric checklist that's really great!

Tonight, just before writing this, I wrote a quick draft of a new song. I'm going to ask Gerald if he wants to co-write this one with me. It's very personal, and tells the story of some people who are close to me, so I don't want to reveal the title yet. But I will say, it's probably my most intimate story yet.

Such a great, creative day!

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