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Anyway, about two or three hundred Cody culture hounds and a sprinkling of tourists showed up for the production. They set up their lawn chairs and spread their blankets in a crescent in front of the stage.
As in many other aspects of outdoor American life there were children and dogs everywhere. The latter cavorted before the stage, while the former played on nearby swings. A couple of young boys tried to climb the lower reaches of a stage-side cottonwood tree. I suppose this is a feature of our egalitarian culture; the fact that great theater performed outdoors for free is almost always accompanied by childish behavior, not only from the kids, but from adults doing things like tossing frisbees. At least the sound system covered up the happy screaming of the kids. Oddly enough, cellphones weren’t a problem. A cast member had requested that they be turned off, and I didn’t hear any during the performance.
“The pox of such antic, lisping, affecting fantasticoes — these new tuners of accent!”
It was a mixed crowd, and by that I mean a diverse New West model of cowboy hats and those broad-billed, canvas-colored caps favored by the outdoor recreation crowd. A varied group of folks who had arrived at the Park in pickup trucks, Subarus and minivans, or riding a mountain bike. There were even a couple of horses, though they were temporarily confined to a parked horsetrailer.
“Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds….”
The backstage area was visible to people sitting at the extreme sides of the stage, its goings-on making for an amusing distraction from the sweaty action of the play.p> em>”O noble Prince, I can discover all br> The unlucky manage of this fatal brawl”. /em> /p>
Mercutio stood on the grass backstage and talked into a cellphone (I guess outgoing cast calls were okay). The costumed anachronism reminded me of those Hollywood backlot commissary scenes shown in movies such as Sunset Boulevard, The Day of the Locust,” and Blazing Saddles. Meanwhile, Romeo himself sat on a lawnchair nearby and smoked a cigarette as he chatted with a stagehand. Then he placed the little black earphones of an I-Pod on his head, sort of a high tech laurel wreath complementing his otherwise Renaissance-era get-up of tunic and tights. He seemed to be charging his batteries — not the I-Pod’s, his own — for the ultimate tragic scene to come.
Maybe Shakespeare — who was an actor himself — would have appreciated the backstage informality and its visibility. Maybe it would have reminded him of his own days at the Globe Theater. There is something about an accessibly transparent outdoor production on a balmy summer evening that lends an Elizabethan quality to it.
The meadowlarks trilled in the breeze-undulated cottonwoods; the big Harleys out on Sheridan Avenue roared and roared.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?