Sunday, July 08, 2012

No hurricanoes for "King Lear" but plenty of rain

Yesterday I joked about watching King Lear rail against "thunderbolts and hurricanoes" while the real thing was happening. The Weather Channel predicted a 60 percent chance of rain with possible flash floods.

The Wyoming Shakespeare Festival Company did perform "King Lear" yesterday evening at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens during a rapidly escalating storm. The lightning and thunder did arrive before cue -- act one instead of act three -- but it only added to the anticipation. The actors persevered as the rain waxed and waned and finally just poured down. The bodies of Lear and Cordelia and all the rest (living and dead) were soaked by the time the curtain came down about 7:15 on the 13th season performance of the Lander company.

The audience was a bit drier under umbrellas and ponchos. We were appreciative, giving the cast a rousing round of applause before we headed to our cars. Thanks to Diane Springford and her cast for a great performance and a demonstration of what it takes to be part of a traveling acting troupe. The show must go on!

A final note: Botanic Gardens Director Shane Smith introduced the performance and spoke about the upcoming vote Aug. 21 for additions and renovations to the facility. Interesting to note that interior spaces large enough for theatre performances are included in the plan. Although Shakespeare in the rain is an experience not to be missed, it would be nice to have a place to keep performers and audience members warm and dry. A number of people gave up and left midway through the play, which was a shame.

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