On Saturday night, Anne and I drove to the Grove to attend Shakespeare in the Streets. This entertainment was produced by the same organization that does the annual big Shakespeare Festival in Forest Park. This production was more community theater, rather than professional Shakespeare. The night’s performance was of Old Hearts Fresh, an adaptation of The Winter’s Tale. The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays”. It starts out with three acts of tragedy, but then ends with two acts of comedy. It didn’t really work in the original setting and it didn’t work all that well last night either.
This adaptation featured a double fatality, rundown in the middle of Manchester Avenue, which just happened to be where the audience was sitting. The great reveal at the end of the show was a new mural. The Grove is known for its street murals. Frankly though, I found the character Leontes just plain annoying. He went crazy for no apparent reason, accused his pregnant wife on infidelity, left his newborn daughter to be run over in the middle of Manchester, precipitated the death of his wife and only son, who were run over and them precedes to mope about it for the rest of the night. I blame the original writer.
The most interesting aspect of the show was the local touches. Covered was the history of race relations in neighborhood, with its north of Manchester versus south of Manchester racial divide. Also covered was the neighborhood’s modern renewal. Hipsters, both gay and straight abounded, techno music and ‘Time’, the narrator, was played by a transvestite. We were out late for us, past nine. It certainly felt late, after everything that we did yesterday, but the Grove hadn’t even started to get going for the night when we left for home.
Tonight, we enjoyed the music of Javier Mendoza. He put on a concert in Oak Knoll Park, which was close enough that we could walk to it. I use to take the boys to this park after work on nice days. Mendoza plays Latin-Jazz and is one of the most popular artists making music in Saint Louis. He and Jim Peters make-up the duo, The Reserve. The weather this weekend has been exceptional and tonight was no exception. Cool weather, soothing music, what more could you ask for on a Sunday evening? Picnic lunch? A bottle of wine? Check!