Seven47 (747 Asp Ave, Norman) is a New American Restaurant in Norman’s Campus Corner. We had their signature Big Boy Mac & Cheese along with the burger sliders. It was a great combination for sharing between the two of us.
In this Performing Arts Q&A session I speak with Erin Woods on Reduxion Theatre’s production of As You Like It and get inside the show.
What five words would you use to describe As You Like It?
1. Musical: more live music than we have ever done in a Shakespeare play
Now, using more than five words, what’s it about?
“As You Like It” is a play that studies different kinds of love in the face of adversity. In the first Act of the play, our heroine and hero are both thrown into peril and banished from their individual homes. The second half of the play, all characters make pilgrimage to a rustic location called “The Forest of Arden.” In this pastoral place, they feel at leisure to meditate on ideas of wealth, ease, freedom and of course, love. While the play is first and foremost a love story, the pilgrimage, themes of discovery and pastoral location evoked for me the famous 20th century pilgrimage of many Westerners to India: especially the Beatles famous trip to India in 1968.
What are some unique aspects for your version of As You Like It?
We have set the play in 1968 in France and India. Reduxion’s signature twist… this time a fresh take on the classical convention of “pastoral comedy,” wonderfully highlights the themes of “As You Like It”. In the 20th century there is a time of awakening in the Western world: people traveled to make discovery of Eastern ideas, ways of life, love, philosophy and religion. We at Reduxion always use Shakespeare’s language for our primary inspiration. The concept, even a completely surprising concept, always serves the play, not the other way around.
What was the biggest challenge with this production?
Opening the brand new theater space for the opening of this production was a challenge; but we LOVE our new space and all of the new luxuries it affords: Reduxion’s new venue offers our audiences lots of surprising improvements: the new venue is certainly a step-up for us. We have built a professional bar area and box office area; we have more restrooms; the building has a comfortable shared lobby for pre-show and intermission; the location is exciting – it offers prime accessibility for nightlife before and after performances; the performance and seating space remains intimate, but can accommodate larger crowds.
Now that you’ve had a few nights in the new location, what does everyone think about it?
We have received nothing but great feedback. The new space is still a bit of a work in process, so new improvements every day to our seating, and our technical equipment, but all patrons have expressed that the new theater is a step-up for Reduxion.
Why should one see it?
“As You Like It” has an incredible cast of multi-talented actor/singer/musicians. Lindsay Pittman plays the leading role Rosalind, a “pants-part” meaning she spends a great deal of the play disguised as a boy. Pittman is very much a Gamine type: elfish, slender, boyish but beautiful, with gorgeous big eyes; all one would want in a Rosalind. But she is distinctly less Audrey Hepburn and more of a Jean Seberg or Twiggy-type which is perfect for this show, time-period and setting. She brings a great energy and thoughtfulness to Rosalind. Pittman worked with RTC for the first time this summer in “The Women”. Rachael Barry, a long time RTC company member plays Celia, Rosalind’s cousin and constant companion. Shakespeare’s Celia is loyal, kind, sweet and a little mischievous. Barry brings a sensitivity and a sexiness to the role which makes Celia all the more exciting. Kyle Whalen is currently a student at the OU School of Drama and plays Orlando, Rosalind’s love-interest and a poetry-writing, athletic champion. Whalen is also an accomplished musician. He brings an earnestness and a playfulness to the role that is quite refreshing. The whole company is strong; a terrific mix of new artists and long-time RTC company members.
What advice do you for directors putting on a production of As You Like It?
Cast great actors, like I did.
Anything else you want people to know?
This show is perfect for people who have never seen Shakespeare. Reduxion stays true to the language, our foremost aim, but we always strive to find new ways to engage and surprise audiences. We always desire to delight our long-time patrons, but we also wish to attract new audiences – some perhaps that have been hesitant to see Shakespeare for the first time, or don’t think they’ll like Shakespeare. We want Oklahoma to know that Reduxion endeavors to change your mind: Give us a chance to show you the excitement, the vitality and the relevance of these classic works: that is our motto – “Revisit the Classics.”
Final shows tonight and tomorrow (feb 28-Mar 1) Order tickets at our website: reduxiontheatre.com
In this Performing Arts Q&A session I speak with Scott Hynes, the director of Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s production of Sylvia.
How do you describe the story of Sylvia to your friends?
SYLVIA is the story of the middle-aged, recently empty-nested couple Greg and Kate, and Greg’s dog Sylvia. Greg is an investment banker, and Kate is a middle School English/Literature Teacher. Kate is starting to experience some success and Greg is experiencing some disillusionment causing a strain on their marriage. Greg meets Sylvia (the dog) in the park one day while in Central Park on his lunch break. She is a stray with a collar, and no owner to be found, who wanders up to Greg. He takes her home, and Kate is rather resistant to the idea of having a dog, further straining the marriage. SYLVIA is about how Sylvia affects Greg and Kate’s relationship, and the journey the 3 of them take together.
What are some unique aspects for your version of Sylvia?
I updated it to current times (it was written in the early 90’s), and the representative approach t the design is both rather unique to this production.
Why should one see it?
Its hysterical, and heart-warming, and it has something for everyone. But there is some strong language and adult themes, so that might help too.
What was the most challenging aspect you had in the production?
Defeating my own self-doubt, and the challenging performance space.
What bits did the actors seem enjoy the most?
They just generally have a ball every time they are on stage. I’m a little jealous; it looks like so much fun I wish I were out there with them!
What did you learn as a director?
I’m learning effective communicating skills and how to see the bigger picture. It’s been a definite learning curve, but I think I’m adapting nicely!
The show runs February 13-23 with matinee performances on Feb 16 & 23. For tickets, CALL (405) 297-2264 or www.okctc.org/
I’ve rounded up a list of Valentine’s Day (and Weekend) Special Events for couples happening in the Oklahoma City Metro. Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Friday. If you’re interested in any of these activities, be sure to get tickets as events can sell out.
Location of event and city: Exchange Landing 1503 Exchange Avenue Oklahoma City
Info: Oklahoma River Cruises will host a Valentine’s Day Dessert Cruise on Friday February 14th, and Saturday February 15th. Enjoy dessert and champagne with the special person in your life, cash bar. Join us at the Exchange Landing to experience A River Romance, boarding at 7:15PM.
$30.00 per guest. For more information: Book tickets online at www.okrivercruises.com or call (405) 702-7755
Reduxion Theatre opens the new Broadway Theatre venue with one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies with a nostalgic look at the Western pilgrimages to India of the 1960′s, in search of inner light and peace. Our unique brand of ‘theatre in your lap’ playfulness with music and costumes inspired by the era, will transport you in a spirit of love, freedom, peace and happiness! Performs Feb. 7 – March 1 with a special preview performance Feb. 6. All performances are Reduxion’s NEW VENUE in Automobile Alley, 914 North Broadway Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102.
Since the early 1900s, The Tunnel of Love has been synonymous with romantic adventure, thrills and chills. The tour for couples would embark on a predominantly dark passage which would be filled with wonderful and frightening surprises around every corner only to be given a short, quiet reprieve which would allow the couples to relax, but only for a moment until the onslaught of scares were introduced once again.
These scenes offered a socially acceptable “excuse” for physical contact at a time when public affection or even holding hands was considered inappropriate.
100 years later, The Sanctuary has continued this tradition with a version of a Tunnel of Love “Lights Out” tour. You will be given an LED torch lamp to navigate through the dark twists and turns of the 4-story attraction. Upon exiting you will be given the opportunity to participate in a one of a kind Valentine’s Day photo op.
Open on Feb. 14 and 15 at 8 pm to Midnight. Get tickets here.
William Rader presents An Enchanted Evening Saturday nights in Automobile Alley in Oklahoma City. An Enchanted Evening is a fun and sophisticated parlor show in which William demonstrates amazing feats of deduction, influence, and mind reading. He will wager over $100 on the outcome of a game of rock, paper, scissors. He will also reveal thought of names, dates, and places and will share a few of his secrets to reading minds. Guests are asked to dress to impress in cocktail attire.
Seating is limited to 30 guests so that you can experience the miracles up close. Tickets are $25 and will admit two guests. Please visit http://www.williamrader.com/live and use invitation code: uncovering
Take 9 is the variety sketch-comedy show you get when you combine the spirit of a Carol Burnett with shows like Cheers, Saturday Night Live, Rocky Horror Picture show and live music from Oklahoma’s hottest up and coming bands and feature artists! With audience-encouraged participation; this live interactive, sketch-comedy, Take 9 is like nothing else in Oklahoma.
Take-9 will debut a new show to play throughout each month at The Red Room with recurring characters and themes, and the show is available for outside bookings around the state. This experience is not like a movie, it’s dynamic! The audience is part of the show. No sitting back and relaxing here. It’s exciting, interactive and changes with each new audience.
Take 9 has something for everyone in a fast-paced entertainment spectacle. Watch regional Blues legend “Sweet Brenda” Severson brings to life all new sketch character like driving Ms. Hazy, a falling star whose drinking problem shows up at the most inopportune of times and Minnie Dean, who feels she was ‘short’-change by her sister Paula and is now trying to become noticed as Food Network star. Experience fun filled moments with“Belly Up To The Bar”, where guests, stars and characters and banter with the inappropriate barkeeps and dancers wait and dance their way into the hearts of an adoring audience. The music is live, the comedians are amazing and the experience memorable.
Information on February 2014 shows times are: Feb. 14th at 8 p.m.; February 21 at 10 p.m. and February 22 at 6 p.m. See additional dates and information at www.take9online.com or like Take 9 on facebook for more upcoming show dates and times.
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd St., Oklahoma City
Enjoy a buffet dinner and dancing hosted by the museum’s Dining on Persimmon Hill restaurant in the lovely Sam Noble Special Events Center. Museum galleries open. Reservations required (405) 478-2250, Ext. 281. Valentine’s Dinner and Dance is on February 14, 2014 from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. Cost is $44.98 per person. More information here.
Appetizers being served from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Dinner Buffet open from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Desserts served until 10:00 p.m.
Dancing until 10:00 p.m.
At Paint N Cheers, Lover’s Lane will be taught out on one canvas for single painters or two canvases if you wish to paint as a couple! Price is $35 per person.
Their Friday class is already sold out, however, there Saturday classes are still open.
Don’t forget: Uncovering Oklahoma’s 2014 Date Idea Book is the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for fun year round.