SHAKESPEARE GOES BIGGER

Shakespeare Festival of Dallas has changed its name to Shakespeare Dallas – which might be a hint to the so-called Dallas Summer Musicals. Anyway, their expanded season takes them out of the “festival” mode and into a steadier year-round presence under Raphael Parry’s artistic direction.

Several things to notice:

Rene Moreno is directing a musical version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream next summer. The “musical” part – I don’t know. But he’s directed dozens of plays over the past few years (most recently Visiting Mr. Green at Contemporary Theatre of Dallas), and I’ve never seen one badly done.

The October slot for Much Ado About Nothing also makes such good sense that it’s a wonder it hasn’t been done before. Marianne Galloway’s Risk Theater succeeded beautifully with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in the Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre in a collaboration with Shakespeare Dallas back in April. It got a little chilly (60s, maybe) as the night went on, but that’s better than, say, 92. Then Shakespeare Dallas did a trial weekend of Twelfth Night this year back in October, and the experiment must have gone well.

And I’m impressed that there’s going to be a staged reading of Troilus & Cressida at the Bath House Cultural Center in February. Somebody probably thinks it will play into anti-war sentiment – it’s a thorough bashing of the Iliad‘s whole cast of characters. I’ve never seen it staged, and neither had Shakespeare, apparently, because it was published in 1609 with a preface that said it was “never staled with the stage, never clapper-clawed with the palms of the vulgar.” Should be very interesting to see how it plays – fat Achilles and all.

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