Saturday, December 23, 2006


Ashland has an amazing theater scene. You've of course got the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which is one of the great American regional theaters. OSF has three theaters which together produce 750 showings of 11 different plays each year. But OSF is not the only game in town. There is the Oregon Cabaret theater, the Camelot Theater Company, Oregon StageWorks, and then a well-respected theater department at Southern Oregon University. Hey, if Terry Teachout loves this town, how couldn't you?

I say all of this because even in a great theater scene, things fall between the cracks. And last night I saw one of the most dreadful theatrical spectacles I have ever seen. It was a musical version of A Christmas Carol, and let's just say that the second act kicked off with a Cratchett family rap. You know, Tiny Tim, played by a precocious nine year old choir boy, started things off by tapping his crutches to a "hip hop beat", and then one by one each Cratchett family member took his or her turn rapping about Christmas spirit. All completely unironically. The music was by the notorious choral arranger Kirby Shaw, the book by his wife, and apparently it was a world premiere. I wonder what the word is for the last time a work gets produced? World Conclusion? World Finale? World Demise?

Off to DC tomorrow. Cross your fingers for a fog-less Medford and a snow-less Salt Lake City.

Update: Fog in Medford. Flight delayed four hours. Argh.

Update too: After being on hold for an hour, managed to get a later flight to Dulles. Arrived in DC forty-five minutes before Christmas!

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