It happened at just the right time. I'd been feeling slightly Argh-I'm-always-being-depended-on-I-need-some-time-on-my-own, and I saw a poster for Merry Wives of Windsor. Off The Ground Theatre was doing it for the next week or 10 days around the area, usually just one night per town. It was scheduled for Thursday night at Blarney Castle. "Great," I thought, "It'd be so cool to see Shakespeare with a real castle as the backdrop! Too bad our babysitter is out of town."
I tried to find out more information online and came up with this. It even has a picture of the poster I saw. It also revealed to me that "the bawdy comedy is getting the full Off the Ground treatment and is set in the disco cool of the seventies." Which was good to know, because otherwise, when the show opened with the whole cast singing "Stayin' Alive," I'd've been a little surprised. It also made it much easier to convince Mr. Kluges (who has never been a huge fan of musicals of any kind) into staying home with Pumpkin while I went on my own.
And yes, it DID open with the full cast singing "Stayin' Alive," while wearing a combination of period and 70s attire...sometimes on the same individual. Also, glitter face paint was prevalent. A little... strange... but I figured "Eh, what the heck." And I'd have to say that attitude stood me in good stead throughout the performance. (Not that the two minibottles of wine I had during the show hurt at all, either.) It was a rollicking and fun-filled performance, with occasional episodes of singing. I had a great spot right up front on my blanket, next to a quartet of (quite well-behaved) elementary school girls with one mom, and was able to take some wonderful photos.
Fun, fun, laughing, singing, listening to Shakespeare done with native English accents, etc. No bugs, nice evening, yadda, yadda, yadda. We hit intermission (or interval, as it was called here), and I wandered up to visit the Ladies' and get a double carmel Magnum ice cream bar. (YUM!) Got back, took a photo of the scene, settled back in... and noticed a couple of cast members putting garbage bags over the speakers. "Huh, maybe now that it's getting darker and cooler, they're worried about dew or something," I thought.
Um, no. The second half began, and about 10 seconds later, it started to sprinkle. About 20 seconds after that, it started to rain. And about 10 seconds after that, the skies opened up and it started pouring. And I'm not just talking your regular old "opened up" here - I'm talking "opened up a can of whup-ass" on us all. I've got to give the cast credit though; while we all scrambled to put up umbrellas, cover up with plastic, etc., they carried on singing and dancing through their current 70s number. My pictures of the second half... well, they're either blurry or filled with raindrops, but we all had a good time anyway. Even when they pulled half the audience up onto stage (ok, over into the 'stage area' of the grass) for the number at the end. (And when you're in the front row and have been laughing a lot... yeah, you get pulled up to dance, too. "Don't blame it on the sunshine. Don't blame it on the moonlight," you know.)
All in all, a very fun evening. The acting wasn't outstanding, but was fun; the costumes were... a bit outlandish, especially the VERY 70s and sequiny "fairies" at the end; and the music was amusing. It felt neat to take advantage of something happening in the community, and you couldn't beat seeing Blarney Castle in the background. I'll pick out some photos and add them in to this post so you can see what I mean. And that's my post about the Merry Wives of Windsor! Yay!
2 days ago