I wrote a piece for the Weekend Journal edition of The Wall Street Journal about the pleasures and perils of attending outdoor performances. It ran on Saturday. Here’s an excerpt:
From Tanglewood to the Hollywood Bowl, summertime means outdoor performances of every kind, including classical concerts, opera, dance and, most often, theater. I’ve reviewed them all, and some of my happiest memories are of the countless shows I’ve seen under the stars. On the other hand, I also remember a few that I would have paid not to see, usually because Mother Nature chose not to cooperate. Yes, it’s festive and fun to eat a picnic dinner, then stroll to Shakespeare in the Park. But if the sky falls, the show stops—unless the performers are protected by a tent or canopy, in which case it may simply be paused, leaving the audience soaked to the skin by evening’s end. Not only is mere skull-busting heat rarely considered sufficient reason to send a paying crowd home, but I’ve covered plenty of performances where gnats were out in force, flying in funnel-cloud formation with orders to kill….
Read the whole thing here.