Love’s Labor’s Lost at Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ashland, Oregon
at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Love’s Labor’s Lost

by William Shakespeare
directed by Amanda Dehnert

After I wrote my delayed review of Manahatta last month I was ready to post my season ratings for the excellent 2018 OSF season. I lined up all my reviews, added in the Romeo and Juliet we didn’t see because of smoke, and set about to rank the plays.

I got to 10. But, there were 11 productions this year. I initially thought I mistagged a review in the blog, so I searched though my posts.  Nope. Only 9 plays plus R&J.

I went to the OSF site and looked over the season’s production.

Oh.

I completely left out — and had forgotten about — Love’s Labor’s Lost.

Love's Labor's Lost ensemble from the 2018 Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Ensemble.
Photo by Jenny Graham.

Once I saw the production’s name, I remembered that it was a fun evening. Lots of music. Accessible. Made sense.

And, apparently, completely forgettable as a theater piece.

Love's Labor's Lost singer from Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Jennie Greenberry, Royer Bockus, Alex Magni.
Photo by Jenny Graham.

OSF did an excellent job entertaining the audience with LLL. The characters were clear and there were moments of satisfying singing and frolicking.

This production treats Shakespeare’s story as a silly plot which can be used to showcase the comedic and musical talent of the cast. The very skilled OSF crew does an excellent job amusing the audience. LLL was innovative, sharp, and completely satisfying.

I can remember the antics and the music. I enjoyed them thoroughly. I even recall much of the show, especially when I look at the OSF publicity shots online.

Daniel Ostling’s set in the Elizabethan theater was engaging, simple-looking, and intricate. It helped the characters strut their stuff and touch the audience.

The music composed by Andre J. Pluess (also the sound designer) and Amanda Dehnert (also the director) enriched the experience and flawlessly fit into the flow of the festivities.

Acting and crafts deserve applause and thanks!

Was OSF right in treating LLL as vehicle for pure pleasure? Probably.

Will I remember the show as a life-changing work of art? Definitely not.

Play rating:
Play Rating 3 out of 5 Syntaxes

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