There is something so wonderful, so fun and so perfect about experiencing Shakespeare for free in a public park, outside under the stars. I really think it adds an element of magic to the thing that is live theatre.
Here in St. Louis, we are very lucky to have an amazing company that produces that free Shakespeare show each year in Forest Park. Last night, a group of our friends went down to the park early with a picnic basket, cooler and our lawn chairs to see the show.
We got there around 6 pm and were surprised to find so many people already there. It was starting to get cool and there wasn’t rain in the forecast so I think everyone else had the same idea as us that night! In any case, we were able to set up our lawn chairs a bit up the hill where it was relatively flat and wouldn’t cause it to come tumbling down the hill when we sat down to watch the show.
We were treated to Juggling Jeff and Josh the Clown’s antics before the show. I even asked them to redo their bit so I could catch them in a picture!
I am always impressed by their acts – they’re also the nicest guys in the world. Hence, the redo of their act so I could get a picture!
We nibbled and chatted for a bit before the show started.
And then there was a drunk in the crowd, followed by a policeman. And no, it wasn’t one of our group for once!
Definitely part of the show. I knew the play (it was the first Shakespearean show I was in during high school) and remembered that the play-within-a-play plot that Taming of the Shrew employs actually starts with a drunkard. Hence, the wandering thru the audience. It was really funny.
Right before the show started, we settled in, refilled our beers and margaritas, and then I was faced with this:
We had been sitting there since 6 pm and a lady came in a few minutes before the show started and squeezed herself and her lawn chair right in front of me.
Oh well. I was still able to see if I tilted my head to the left and she did end up leaving during intermission. It got too cold for her, I overheard.
It wasn’t blazing hot during the day, but I didn’t realize that it was going to get so cool when the sun went down! Husband’s good friend D gave me his sweatshirt because I was so cold [such a nice guy, that one!] but then he ended up getting chilly too. So being the inventive one that he is, he grabbed the covers for the chairs and put one on each leg. That sure kept him warm! I was much better when Husband found a t-shirt in the trunk of our car and I was able to cover my cold toes with that.
But all in all, it was a wonderful night with friends and comedy onstage. If you’re in St. Louis, you still have until Father’s Day to see Taming of the Shrew in the Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park. It’s a hoot!
*Post title is one of my favorite quotes from The Taming of the Shrew, Act i. Scene 2.
Part of my 101 in 1001 list - Go out with friends at least once a month. One more down!