Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dang it! We might have to make TWO trips to Ashland next year.

The 2010 Oregon Shakespeare Festival season is looking so good that we might have to make two trips to Ashland next year.

The member early ticket purchase window is about to open, and so I was nosing around the OSF Web pages. With 2009 wrapped up after record ticket sales, the site now has next season's casts listed. We'd already heard in June that Dan Donohue, who was so great as Iago in OSF's 2008 production of Othello, was coming back in 2010 to play Hamlet. But there's lots more fascinating casting news on the site now.

The most interesting nugget I found was in the cast for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Seattle favorite Michael Winters will be playing "Big Daddy" in the Tennessee Williams classic. Winters was amazing as Prospero in this year's production of The Tempest at Seattle Shakespeare Company, and did a great turn as Grandpa last year in You Can't Take it With You at the Seattle Rep. (That's Winters as Prospero at right in a Seattle Shakes photo by John Ulman.) Winters has played at OSF before, but not since Weisenheimer and my Sweetie, the official scorer, have attended.

The rub is that Cat is one of the festival's early-season plays, running Feb. 20 through July 4, while we always go in September. A May trip to Ashland may be in order.

We're also jazzed about The Merchant of Venice, which will star Anthony Heald as Shylock, Jonathan Haugen as Antonio, and Vilma Silva as Portia. We're big fans of all three. Heald and Haugen were co-winners of our "Wisey" award for 2008 best supporting actor for their performances in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. They also were together in this year's Equivoaction, which is coming to the Seattle Rep later this month surrounded by considerable Wisey buzz. Silva, too, claimed a Wisey, for best supporting actress, in 2008. She and Heald were marvelous in this year's otherwise so-so production of Henry VIII at OSF.

Lastly, Weisenheimer is looking forward to Miriam Laube as Olivia in Twelfth Night. Sweetie isn't so crazy about Laube, but I think she's super fine!

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