I’m in The Wall Street Journal this morning with a report on my visit to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, which I found wholly satisfactory.
Some pertinent excerpts:
Rarely has anything so delightful as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival been situated in a more depressing location. To get there, you drive past downtown Montgomery, pull off the interstate and plunge into a tangle of six-lane suburban sprawl so congested as to make the hardiest of urban planners reach for a triple dose of Xanax. Strip malls, fast-food joints, megachurches the size of Wal-Marts…but then you take a sharp right turn and find yourself in the middle of a 250-acre park that looks as though it had been landscaped by Grant Wood and mowed daily by a thousand well-paid gardeners. Down one lane is the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; down the other, the Carolyn Blount Theatre, home of one of America’s most ambitious and impressive theatrical enterprises. It is, if a weekend visitor to the Bible Belt dare say so, the damnedest thing imaginable….
No small part of the fun of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival is the opportunity it gives you to see a smallish troupe of actors playing sharply varied roles in quick succession. Last Thursday and Friday, for instance, I watched Ruth Eglsaer whack it out of the park three times in a row. She was tough and sardonic as the rebellious daughter of Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing,” properly despairing as the anguished fianc