Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stratford Sundries, 5

Friday, 11:30 a.m.

1. Here's the sentence I wrote last night--then realized we were going to a different show!

Afterwards, we walked over to the County Food Co. for our "tiny supper" before heading back to the room to wait till it's time to walk down to the Tom Patterson Theater for Mother Courage at 8 p.m.

Anyway, we'll be heading down the the Tom Patterson to see MC at 2:00 this afternoon. Meanwhile, we did our usual morning's routine: down to the coffee shop to eat and read and talk, then to another coffee shop for more of the same (sans eating). Joyce finished reading her book about Salinger (she's going to use it in a course she'll be teaching at Hiram College in the coming winter (curse that cold word)) and liked it a lot. It's sending her back to read JDS again, too.

2. In the coffee shop (the first one) we met another couple--academics (he's retired, she's not) from the University of Michigan. He is a physician and was very interested to hear about Hiram's Center for Literature and Medicine ... perhaps a connection is forming? Unfortunately, they were leaving Stratford today (they've been here several days, seeing shows), so we will remain "friendless" through Sunday afternoon, when, following the matinee of Antony and Cleopatra, we will roll back to the Buckeye State ...

3. Mother Courage and Her Children (Brecht) is a strong anti-war play, and I saw it for the first time this afternoon. It reminded me, though, that when our son, Steve, was very little (2? 3?), we took him to Kent State to see a university production of Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle. (We had little money--cheaper than a babysitter!) He sat there mesmerized the entire production, and, afterwards, a woman behind us told us he was the best-behaved little child she'd ever seen. Credit Brecht, I guess?

But today's production had a weakness at the core--the performance in the title role of lead actress Seanna McKenna, a Stratford star for years. She just didn't convince, not from minute one to minute last. Too bad. I remember, oh, ten years ago or so, seeing her in Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending, and she was stunning. 

Geraint Wyn Davies and Ben Carlson, two of the great actors up here, were ... great in their smaller but significant roles. Many of the minor characters were wonderful, too. That's what's so unusual up here--"top to bottom," the casts are just generally wonderful.

Tom Patterson Theater
Seanna McKenna as Mother Courage
4. For supper, we decided to try our old favorite, the York Street Kitchen on Erie (which, as I posted earlier, is open only on weekends now for supper); it was fine/great--just as we remembered. A small, intimate place with lots of local produce, etc. They had a way-too-good white chocolate/macadamia nut cookie that Joyce and I "shared"--a sight to see, our "sharing" ...

5. In a bit we will walk a mile or so down to the Festival Theater to see a full production of A Midsummer Night's Dream--see image below from this year's staging.

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