July 25, 2009
Tonight my husband, our daughter and I enjoyed a wonderful performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor, one of three shows now running at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos, courtesy of the 8th annual Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival. As with other shows we’ve attended in past years, this one was playing to a full house.
The other offerings this year are A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Jungle Book. I haven’t seen them, but it is the same, strong cast (the Festival Theater Ensemble).
What is a little amazing to me is to realize that several of the ensemble members act in all three shows, which are running concurrantly. So for instance, Friday they performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, tonight was The Merry Wives of Windsor, and tomorrow night will be The Jungle Book. Although my own experience performing onstage is very limited, it seems to me that doing three shows at once is a lot like trying to study Italian, Spanish and French in the same semester: it is probably very challenging to do it gracefully, not stumble or get confused.
But to watch them tonight, you’d never know that there was any other show to perform this week. All of the acting was good, with particularly stellar jobs done by Todd Wright (playing Falstaff) and Rachael Bakker (as Mistress Margaret Page). The lighting, sound, costumes, sets and everything that backs up good acting was right on target too.
Congratulations to the cast, crew, directors, producers and gazillion volunteers on another very successful run! Thanks to all of you who make this festival the newer tradition that we appreciate so much.
Some practical stuff for attending the shows:
Shows are at 8pm and last 2 hrs, 40 minutes with intermission. They do take credit cards and checks. If you want to attend all three shows, buy them as a bundle and save some money (see website for details).
Other stuff: Nice looking fleece sweaters and tshirts, as well as caps and other goodies, can be purchased and coffee, tea and cookies are available during the intermission for whatever donation you’d care to make.
Parking at the Oak Meadow lot can be iffy when the summer evenings are pleasant, as they were tonight (apparently it was foggy and cold last night!). Street parking is always a choice but it may take a little time. So to get the best seats (as you can probably tell from the photo, we were in the top row) and better parking, arrive 20 or 30 minutes early (not the 7 or 8 we did.)
And – I cannot stress this enough – dress in layers! The temperature drops considerably once the sun goes down. Bring your jacket, bring a blanket. You’ll be glad you did.