Shakespeare a la 1920s

47702_smallI spent this past Friday night in Staunton, VA, at the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel (www.stonewalljacksonhotel.com) and the Blackfriars Theater (www.americanshakespearecenter.com), watching A Midsummer’s Night Dream. What does this have to do with the Roaring  Twenties? Nothing that I was prepared to see. Was I surprised!

The imaginative production of this familiar Shakespeare play included a rip-roaring intermission they called vaudeville–and it was exactly like a vaudeville show of the Twenties, only shorter. There were several acts, including jugglers, a tap dance, and others, with performers dressed in flapper dresses and Twenties male attire. The music, too, was spot on. Absolutely charming! The talent was terrific. And the beautifully restored hotel dates from 1924. 

exterior-pm-62001For a $218 package, a couple can stay in a lovely room in the historic hotel, enjoy a nice buffet breakfast and parking, plus two tickets to the Blackfriars Theater next door. An amazing bargain–top quality accommodations, great food, and some of the most energetic Shakespeare I’ve ever seen. I encourage you to look into this and consider a weekend in Staunton, VA (other outstanding museums include the Woodrow Wilson birthplace, just a block away (remember–Wilson was president in the Twenties), and the Frontier Culture Museum). There are always several plays on the schedule, so we plan to go back this coming winter. 1311324_6_b

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  1. Sounds like a great night. Of course, one can imagine the entire play staged as an escape from an overbearing mobster family…. 🙂


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