Tag: Shakespeare by the Sea

Return to Wilson Park

Return to Wilson Park

Once again I spent the evening in Torrance enjoying the second Shakespeare by the Sea performance of the season.

Last night showcased The Winter’s Tale, a drama that arguably wasn’t very dramatic, but tonight was comedy night with The Merry Wives of Windsor.

The seats weren’t as great as last time, but it was worth it to have a sandwich with the show.

Honestly, this play was much better in my opinion. I’m usually one for the Shakespearean dramas, but something about this show in particular really tickled my funny bone.

It was essentially the story of two women getting revenge on a man who tried to steal both of them from their husbands at the same time, not knowing they were close friends and would figure it out. As always, the actors really brought the story — and all the innuendo it carried — to life in the best of ways.

Plus the show told me that Shakespeare was a proponent of cuckolding and crossdressing as a means of humiliating people. The guy may have changed the English language and culture forever, but he was a freak when he wanted to be.

God… What am I doing. Making fun of the Bard in a random Saturday blog post.

This is what happens when you don’t have any ideas, people.

Well okay that’s not necessarily true. There’s a few things I could think to talk about from tonight.

Like how I had a great time going out to the show with Aly tonight.

Plus I’m still sunburnt and look awful? But that’s a different story.

Or the fact that having a seat further back from the stage facilitated seeing a lot more of the special extraneous stuff surrounding the production.

It’s harder to notice the actors slipping out from the side of the stage to make their approach through the center aisle when you’ve got a more centralized, engrossing view of the show. For example.

On top of that, when it came to this show specifically, I noticed a lot more of the things going on in the park around us as well. For instance, the venue happens to be in front of an outdoor hockey rink:

That thing has a very loud buzzer, even when it’s outside.

Yet that buzzer is only barely louder than the little kids playing on the playground over to the right of the stage.

All especially fun distractions when you’re far enough away from the action that even the speakers don’t pick up all the slack in helping us hear what was going on.

That’s about all I can think to say though, I’m afraid. I went to the gym again earlier today, and that coupled with the late play has left me a little burnt out.

So I’ll try to get something more significant out tomorrow.

Even though the plan is to spend the night with my friends. We’ll see.

A Day of Fine Arts

A Day of Fine Arts

After a rare day spent almost entirely outdoors at the Manhattan Beach Pier and at Wilson Park in Torrance, I’m pretty beat.

I’m also pretty sunburnt at that, so I’m sure I’ll come to regret not putting on sunscreen once my face starts to seriously burn up. ‘Tis the unfortunate truth of being an overtly pale, caucasian shut-in.

But that’s neither here nor there. Just consider it my excuse to not write the Citizen Kane of blog posts tonight.

All my tired, complexion-driven complaints aside, it was actually quite a lovely day. My friend Mimi and I spent the afternoon just catching up and venting about all of the drama pervading our lives lately.

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Excuse the wink. I swear it’s the sun, not me trying to be a douche.

Of course there are few catalysts better for bonding than pizza. So luckily I was able to take the opportunity to introduce her to my favorite pizza place: The Manhattan Beach Pizzeria.

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Ain’t that a tasty-looking slice? I’ve certainly been a proponent of it since days long past, when this particular joint was a preferred spot to hang out at after volleyball camp every summer.

Plus the calzone was definitely worth the long journey through L.A. traffic, from what I heard through a totally objective third party.

Speaking of that long journey through traffic, it facilitated my having a little bit of extra time before we started to hang out to just wander the shopping plaza at the top of the hill there. It has been a while since I’ve had the chance, as I haven’t gone nearly as much as I should have over the summer.

For some reason, the thing that stood out to me most while I was traversing the grounds was all the public art all around. A lot of it was new, clearly meant to spruce up the area around city hall and the library.

I decided to try and take some artsy, angled pictures of all the different pieces I found as a sort of miniature time-killing project in the middle of the grey, overcast afternoon.

So yeah if you’re interested in strange, not necessarily copacetic public art, enjoy:

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After a couple of hours at the beach, we decided to hang out longer with no real plans set for the next day. That time spread into more fine art, as mom pointed out that there was a Shakespeare by the Sea performance in Torrance.

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For the uninitiated, Shakespeare by the Sea is a theatre troop that has done free performances across California for the last 21 years. It’s a popular event for my family, and one I enjoy bringing my friends to.

How can you go wrong with Shakespeare, after all?

I guess to be fair the show tonight was one of the stranger plays: The Winter’s Tale. It was particularly funny at token moments, but overall holds the distinction of being the only Shakespeare play I can recall seeing where everyone was alive at the end — including many characters who had died during the course of the play.

Weird stuff.

While attending the show I had another obscure little observation. This one relating back to seeing the audience watching it.

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I’m not entirely sure why, but I felt a strange sense of pleasure watching a large crowd of people all quietly engaging with the live performance. As if they were watching a particularly awe-inspiring television program.

Maybe I was just drawn to the idea that we’ve retained the same kind of interest with live performances, particularly Shakespearean performances, as we once had in the days before being overwhelmed by the constant media barrage of the 21st century.

Especially considering just how timeless and relentlessly clever the Bard’s works are.