Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Josh Kelly: Shows, Shows, Shows!

 In my time here, I will have seen 10 of the 11 shows being produced at OSF this season. I started with the Elizabethan Stage shows. Having done two of the shows in the recent past, I was very familiar with them. I honestly preferred The Shakespeare Theatre productions, however my work was involved to say the least so I had a lot invested.  I saw an evening performance of The Unfortunates in the Thomas Theatre.  I then moved on to the Bowmer Theatre shows. I saw Streetcar, My Fair Lady, and Shrew. The Tenth Muse opens after I leave. I saw another performance of The Unfortunates Sunday, and will see Lear, Two Trains Running, Midsummer again, and the dress rehearsal of The Liquid Plain on my last evening here. That's 12 performances in 5 weeks.

The Unfortunates was an amazing production. It was one of those shows where the breadth of ideas was mind blowing in a rather simple concept. The look of the show was worn, flashy, a little frightening, a spectacle. The "timeless but old fashioned" kind of thing many directors and designers aim for, but all too often fall short. Jon Beavers was incredible and gave a performance that stayed with me. Ken Robinson played the Preacher in The Unfortunates and as Freddy in My Fair Lady. He has a voice as smooth and natural as his acting style. I hope I get to see his performances more in the future.

I'm fortunate enough to see theatre at many different theaters in Washington, DC. Each company has a specific style one expects.  Here, so many styles and genres exist for the visitors and residents of Ashland. As a matter of fact, I sat next to residents of the area at all the shows I saw. The loyalty to this company and excitement for live theatre is present in its neighbors.

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