Alas, Poor Yorick

Went to Hamlet tonight at the Park Square Theatre. It wasn’t very full so the theatre manager invited everyone to “upgrade” their seat for free – we ended up sitting center stage, fourth row.  It was a very good performance with intriguing casting (Horatio and Polonius were female) and a fascinating set.  It was set in more modern times and although the final scene was done with the traditional rapiers, when Hamlet kills Polonius in Act 3, he uses a gun. The only disconcerting part of the evening was that the director re-arranged a few scenes (and cut Rosencrantz and Guildenstern).  Not a big issue but for someone who knows the play well, moving some of the speeches around is noticeable to say the least.  Anyway, I would highly recommend it.

What was the last thing you saw in a theatre (play, movie, musical, sing-a-long)?

31 thoughts on “Alas, Poor Yorick”

  1. second city in chicago (bit on online dating not great)
    guthrie in minneapolis ( play about neighbors, pretty good)
    weekly Tuesday movie with my mom
    halloween movie didn’t happen
    marshall ( life of thurgood marshall week before was good)
    my daughter who is my theater partner is off to college studying theater so i am on a deferred leave

    i like park square, jungle, penumbra and broadway/ ord way theater offerings plus latte da, guthrie and children’s theater

    i miss going more often
    maybe a monthly baboon outing or off bbc bi monthly outing is in order
    i’ll organize january if anyone is in

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Last spring we went to Park Square to see a production I enjoyed a lot, Four Women about Nina Simone. It featured black actresses with powerful voices and stage presences. Park Square is so small and intimate. It really reflects true theater when you feel you are right there to experience each theatrical nuance.

    I thought Park Square did its job in the best way possible.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Although I’ve not been much of a theater goer, I enjoyed several local productions in the years I was doing online dating. That experience was an eye opener. My belief after several years of sampling local theater was that the Twin Cities might be the best place in the country for great local theater that is entertaining, affordable and easily accessed. Two productions at Latte Da bowled me over, but the whole experience surprised and delighted me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We got to see, thanks to ushering, three from the Great River Shakespeare Festival this past summer: Shipwrecked – delightful; Comedy of Errors – hilarious; and An Iliad (there’s always one not Shakespeare) – deeply moving. I highly recommend this summer festival in Winona…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Last year I took several family members to see A Christmas Carol at the Phipps in Hudson, as an early Christmas present. It turned out to be very cold on the appointed day, but we all piled into my b-i-l’s Honda CRV and off we went. We saw the Sunday matinee and then went to have dinner at Winzer Stube. Had a very nice time. I think that’s the last play I’ve seen, unless I’m forgetting something. That was close to a year ago, which is a long time to go without seeing anything in a theater. The year really flew by.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Many years ago, when I was making photographer’s props as a side business, someone from the Phipps called me to ask if I would be willing to make them some props for an upcoming production of Christmas Carol. They weren’t offering me any money and so it was understood that this was my opportunity to support the theatre. I was sufficiently intrigued and said “yes”.
      It turned out that what they needed were some foodstuffs for a feast scene and, because they planned for the “servants” to enter from the back of the theatre and down through the audience, they wanted some trays of faux desserts—pies and various sweets—plus a main platter to bring in. I crafted the pies and sweets from polyester resin-glossy and colorful. For the main platter, I sculpted, from a large block of foam, a boar’s head with an apple in its mouth and painted it appropriately. I never heard back from the Phipps about how the production went but it was a fun project anyway.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. My former daughter-in-law is one of our state’s finest actresses. Prior to their marriage, the only stage play I’d ever been to was Jesus Christ Superstar. I love, love, love that stage play!!! DIL introduced me to small theater and the Guthrie. Theaters so small that they only held 100 people and it felt like I was almost on the stage. This was such an intimate experience each time. I had the great pleasure of watching her star in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Streetcar Called Desire, Miracle Worker, Dangerous Liaisons, and Jane Eyre at the Guthrie. Actually, I’ve never seen a play in which she didn’t star, so I think this was the driving impetus for falling in love with mostly small theater. I know it’s shallow, but being able to say, “She’s my DIL” made me proud.

    Since a very contentious, drawn out divorce three years ago, I’ve lost this unexpected pleasure and don’t intend to attend more plays in the future. While it lasted, it was such a sweet experience, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We haven’t attended as many theatre productions recently as we once did. We used to have season tickets at the Jungle and while we volunteered in the costume department at the Guthrie (mostly Robin, me a little bit) we would get comp tickets for their productions. We frequented Penumbra and occasionally made it to other theatres.
    These days it’s harder to blast us out of our comfort after dinner. We have been patronizing a new company called “Prime Productions”, which was formed to seek out and produce material that provides good, meaty roles for women over 50. Their first production, “Little Wars” was about Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas and an imagined gathering of several other well-known female writers like Lillian Hellman and Agatha Christie in wartime Paris.
    We have been taking the granddaughters to productions at Stages Theater in Hopkins and to the Children’s Theater and once in a while we catch a performance at Theatre in the Round on the west bank. Robin has made a tradition of attending one of the musical productions each year at the Guthrie with our daughters—a girls’ night out.

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  8. I’ve frequently been in the audience and in several instances I’ve contributed to the preparation for productions. I’ve done extensive research about nineteenth century theatre. Both in high school and in college many of my friends were theater people, but I’ve never personally been onstage.
    I know from comments on the Trail that many of you do have onstage experiences. I’d like to hear them. I suspect the stories of those experiences would be more compelling than the listing of the audiences you’ve joined.

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  9. Our next door neighbor is a employed full time at the Guthrie. He works in their carpentry shop building sets. In return for wrangling their cats whenever they go out of town, Mike regularly passes on complimentary tickets to us. Hans doesn’t enjoy going to the theater, so I usually go with a friend, although I have dragged him along a couple of times. Over the years that has added up to quite a few plays, including some of the productions that CB mentioned: Night of the Iguana, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire. If memory serves, my first baboon field trip was to the Guthrie to see HMS Pinafore.

    I think Steve is right, the Twin Cities area is blessed with an abundance of good theater and wonderful talent. I’m regularly blown away by productions at Penumbra, The Moving Company, Ten Thousand Things, Theatre Latte Da, History Theater, and Jungle Theater.

    The most recent production I saw was “Speechless” by The Moving Company at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis. An extraordinary piece of inventive theater. The creative forces behind The Moving Company is a subset of talent from the defunct Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and they are truly amazing. I can thank our Lisa for introducing me to them several years ago now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, I guess I am the lone baboon swimming against the tide here. I honestly don’t remember the last time I was in a theater, not even the cheap movie theater (the Riverview).

    However since September 9, I have been to Wood Lake Nature Center, Westwood Hills Nature Center, Brownie Lake, Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, Wood Lake Nature Center (again), Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (two locations), Banning State Park, William O’Brien State Park, Shadow Falls, Afton State Park, and Wood Lake for the third time. And today I went to the Quaking Bog. So I’m content.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Well Hello Kids– I just posted a link to the blog on a friends FB page. She’s the assistant Stage Manager at Park Square. (Hi Sam!)

    We have one performance left of our kids show, ‘Junie B. Jones is not a crook’. Tomorrow at 2PM. We opened last Saturday with 2 shows and ran all week with 2 shows / day all week. 600 elementary school kids / day saw it and most seemed to really enjoy it.
    I would be in the lobby as they walked in and while the teachers are “shushing” them, I’m telling them to make as much noise as they want. The teachers would frown at me. So I revised it; “You gotta be quiet in the halls and on the bus and in the classroom. But at the play you can make as much noise as you want! Remember to laugh and clap and cheer!” And the teachers would roll their eyes.
    One little girl didn’t want to leave. I don’t think she wanted to be there in the first place. Curled up in a ball and sat there ignoring the adult with her. I tried a few things with her as well, but to no avail either. But when I said Junie B would be out in the hallway, that was the trick. She got up and walked out to meet Junie. And the young lady playing Junie handled it perfectly.

    Couple weeks ago we saw ‘Man of La Mancha’ at Theater Latte Da. They do fantastic stuff.
    Saw ‘Blithe Spirit’ here in town recently. That was pretty good too.

    There is a local Christmas show coming up that I’ll probably skip. You know, my dislike of Christmas music and all…

    Lots of theaters talking about a decline in audience attendance. it’s beginning to scare some people.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. With the amount of theaters in the Twin Cities, I’m amazed that they manage to stay afloat. Of course, many of them are very bare bones operations, and just barely scrape by. But I have no doubt you’re right, Ben, people are scared.

      By the way, congratulations on your son being sworn in as a Minneapolis police officer.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. My agency Christmas party will be held at the local Eagles Club. The entertainment will consist of a dinner murder mystery in three acts over the course of our meal presented in the form of a radio play with 9 of us (includind me and husband) as actors. One of our secretaries has a real theatrical bent and got the script from England. It is based on A Christmas Carol.

    Liked by 1 person

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