Sunday, August 29, 2010

All that glitters is not gold

I am coming to the conclusion of a most excellent weekend. I got it in my head a while back that I wanted to go to the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City this summer. That was the easy part. The hard part is finding people who want to go with me- and will actually follow through when they say they want to. Has anyone else noticed that this is a problem with our generation? It drives me nuts sometimes.

But that's a tangent. In this case, I was most fortunate to be favored by the good company of Emily, Alice, Melanie, and Mel's sister Maggie, and we had a most delightful time.

The plays themselves were excellent, but so was just about everything else about the trip. We saw stage version of Pride and Prejudice, Hitchcock's The 39 Steps redone as a comedy with only four actors (most of whom played multiple, multiple parts), Much Ado About Nothing, and The Merchant of Venice.

I quite liked the Mr. Darcy they had in Pride and Prejudice, although it took me a while to figure out the play was staged to bring out the comedic aspect of the book. Trevor asked me why the drums after all the jokes hadn't given it away. Silly Trevor. In any case, I liked it better than the new version of Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly, and thought they condensed it into a play pretty well.

I wish I had words to describe the production of The 39 Steps. Em summed it up as "creative and random" and I must agree. The actors did an amazing job and the play was packed with random references to other murder mysteries and a lot of other Hitchcock movies that had me in stitches most of the time. Ask me in person sometime and I might be able to describe some of it to you.

Much Ado About Nothing was pretty well done, but I must confess that the Kenneth Branaugh version of that play has kind of spoiled me for anything else. I did like the Hero and Claudio in this stage version better though- I always felt like the Claudio in Branaugh's version was kind of a wuss.

I had never seen a production of The Merchant of Venice, which was a big part of why I was willing to stay and see it on Saturday night, driving home pretty late. (Okay, really late. I went to bed at 3 AM last night). I am so glad that I did. It was quite spectaular. It was the only play I gave a standing ovation for- I am of the dying persuasion that standing ovations should be earned and not handed out like pretzels. The actors portraying Shylock and Antonio were exceptional, and the scene with Portia's would-be suitors the princes of Morocco and Aragon were beautifully and humorously executed. And even though I knew what was going to happen, the courtroom scene with Portia stepping in at the last minute to save Antonio was very gripping. Worth the late drive home.

Other than the theatricals, there were plenty of other things to keep us occupied. We admired, although we did not purchase, the masks in the gift shop:

This is what we look like without the masks, minus Mel, who took the picture:

While Emily and I chose to laugh heartily at The 39 Steps, Mel, Maggie, and Alice chose to spend Friday evening involved in heavy tragedy watching Macbeth. We parted paths and Em and I entertained ourselves with all the enjoyable things there were to be seen in the other gift shop:

We concluded that we shall have to have a girls' night in order to make masks, wreaths, and other girly things.

Here is the Green Show. I liked the Celtic music so much that I wanted to get up on the stage and dance with the SUU students. I also concluded that it wouldn't be *that* hard to make an outfit like the girls are wearing and prance around in it on Halloween. Maybe I'll see if there are any community classes on Celtic dancing.

After a good night's sleep at the local KOA campground, we packed up the car:

And took off to do some driving around the gorgeous Cedar Breaks area.

Since there were wildflowers, I was required (by myself) to identify them.

On the way up to Cedar Breaks, we passed lots of sheep and a sink hole. I didn't want to take any chances:

This is the sign at the trailhead for the main lookout. Don't go sliding down the side of the mountain! Could be bad.

Of course, the wind was strong enough that Alice was afraid to stand up lest she be blow off the edge.

But all things considered, it was quite an amazing view and well worth the trip.

We went to dinner at a bright pink stucco building advertising itself as La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant. Aside from the bright pink decor, we got our first taste of the ambiance in the parking lot whit this:

It just got better inside. There were all kinds of entertaining murals, including this one, located near our table.

Yes. That is a monkey waiter wearing a speedo. This place has character. Here is a piece of the mural across the hall from the restroom:

The sundial watch is a nice touch. And finally, one of many entertaining signs:

Um, yeah. We didn't stick around for it.

On the way back to Salt Lake after The Merchant of Venice that night, I read "Howl's Moving Castle" out loud by flashlight so Mel could stay awake while driving. It added a very nice road trippy feeling to the evening and made the time go much faster. Now it is time to go catch up on the sleep that I did not full get last night. Hooray! I love adventures.

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