Thursday, August 14, 2008

Othello and A View From the Bridge

Box seats for the production of A Comedy of Errors.

Last night we enjoyed a great production of Othello from the front row in the outdoor Elizabethan stage last night. Great actors made Iago wonderfully disgusting and Othello disgustingly jealous. Lots of great line deliveries, like Desdemona screaming at the top of her lungs "Kill me tomorrow! In thirty minutes! After one prayer!" as she futilely ran for her life around the stage, trying to escape Othello. The stage lighting and the passion of the two main actors provided a literal shower of spit and sweat across the stage. When the usher had earlier shown us to our seats, she'd said "I hope you don't get spit on." We didn't, but it was close. We also found ourselves cringing in defensive postures in our chairs as sword fights spilled offstage into the audience and metal cups were thrown and kicked in anger.

Theater lobby.jpg
Lobby of the Angus Bowmer Theater, one of three theaters of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

We had a horrific experience at the afternoon play (Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge). Once again, front row seats. It's an intense story of illegal Italian immigrants in New York City. The tension builds for a couple of hours, the main character is dying on stage, and my iPhone, which I powered completely off and put in my jeans pocket, starts ringing. Not really ringing, just playing Zorba the Greek as a ring tone. Somehow, my jeans pocket had pressed against the power button, and our friend Lew was calling to arrange meeting for a drink. I fumbled desperately for the phone, Robin pushed the mute button. Fortunately the volume was on low and just a few people near us realized what was happening. If any of the actors heard it, they didn't let on.

Our friends in other parts of the theater said they didn't hear it. I felt like Othello, realizing what a horrible thing I'd just done. It took about an hour and several glasses of wine at Liquid Assets (below) to put it all behind me.

Liquid Assets.jpg
Gregg, Carmen, and Robin.