Thursday, July 05, 2012

Independence Day and Theater!

We decided to squeeze our annual trip to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival into the Independence Day holiday season, so we'll get four days of theater with only two days off work. We drove up last night after work, and had a quick, easy drive.

This morning we learned that the house where we're staying is practically at the starting spot for the Ashland Independence Day parade, so we headed out to watch that. It was great fun, in a small town celebration sort of way. Pretty much the whole town seemed to be out. By the end, since we were about halfway to the Shakespeare Festival, we just walked the rest of the way into town, grabbed a quick lunch at one of the booths serving food (tasty gyros), and then split up for the afternoon, with me going to watch "Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella" with my mother-in-law, and the rest of the family checking out the rest of the celebration in Lithia Park.

The play was about as strange as the title implies. They are literally performing (most of) three plays simultaneously on the same stage. The point is that they have some similarities of both structure and theme, but truly, I think it's a bit of a reach. There are some very clever moments and some good performances, so it was a worthwhile afternoon.

For dinner we had hoped to go to Caldera Tap House, but they had closed for the holiday. So we checked out the Standing Stone Brewing Company instead. We had tried it a few years ago and weren't that impressed with either the beer or the food, but this visit was better. The beer was still just OK, but the food was quite good. The key was letting the server list their extensive specials for the day, which included a fish burrito, a crab cake salad, a local bison burger, and a filet mignon. We had the burrito and the burger, and were quite pleased.

Evening we again split up. I went with my daughter to see "Animal Crackers," which she found quite delightful (and which I enjoyed a lot, too). My wife and her mother went to see "The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa," which I will see later this trip (Saturday, I think) while they see Animal Crackers.

It was a fun first day, and we managed to get more exercise than we usually get here. Never even took the car out at all. Good stuff.

Tomorrow we get breakfast instead of a parade, and some friends will be flying up to join us for the remainder of the trip. Somewhere along the way we checked and found there were a few tickets available for one of the shows that had been sold out when we ordered, so we added another play. I think somehow I will end up seeing eight plays in four days. Yow!

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