Monday, September 20, 2010

A Cultured Weekend: From Shakespeare to Hobbits

Oooooh, this weekend was cultured!

One of my friends from back in the day (i.e. pre-elementary school) is in a play in DC. Natalie and her sister are the same ages as me and Sister1, so we spent a lot of time together as children. 

My first Shakespeare experience was with Sister1 and Natalie and Alicia – I was about 9 years old, and our families vacationed together in Tahoe. We all went to the Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and saw As You Like It. Since then, I’ve seen many many many Shakespeare plays overlooking Sand Harbor – so I’m pretty well-versed in Shakespeare’s comedies.

Thus, it seems fitting that 14 years later (sidenote: OMG 14 years!?!?!) I attended Natalie’s first professional performance in the Shakespeare Theater Company’s rendition of All’s Well That Ends Well. 

And I really enjoyed it! The play has received mixed reviews, and obviously it was a bit confusing in parts (as all Shakespeare experiences are), but I thought it was great! The costumes were interesting, and the theater wasn’t too big. And Natalie, of course, was a super-star! She plays Diana, a beautiful Italian town girl who helps Helena (the lead) trick her husband into sleeping with her.

It’s called All’s Well That Ends Well, but I’m pretty sure that Shakespeare was messing with us there. I mean, Helena ends up with a jerk of a husband who she really loves for no apparent reason…but I guess we’ll chalk that one up to poetic license and/or a different time period.

LOTR-Emily and I felt pretty special as we gave the ushers our names to get into the “green room” afterwards. We also learned that CRS tickets are Complementary Reserved Seating, which means that you get your tickets and wait in a line, and a half-hour before the play starts they assign you any available seats.

So theater? Shakespeare? Culture? Check!

But the weekend did not end there. Sunday I hosted a Lord of the Rings Hobbit Party. OMG yes.

Let me explain LOTR-Emily. She hadn’t been assigned a blog name until now because I couldn’t think of a good one! We lived together for most of last year, do yoga together every week, and she was the recipient of the Caramel Birthday Cake. But this weekend the true awesomeness that is LOTR-Emily came out in full force.

You may remember my nerding out LOTR rampage. It started with an email to all my friends in DC: “Hey, not sure if you’re into LOTR, but if so you should totally come to this with me!” Turns out LOTR-Emily is way more into LOTR than I am (She has a Ring! And a cape! And all the extended versions of the DVDs!).

And so she had the genius inspiration – we should celebrate Bilbo Baggins’ birthday!!! His birthday is September 22nd (this Wednesday), but we thought we’d start it early. The extended versions of the films are at least 4 hours each, so you can’t possibly do it all in one night.

So Sunday we chose The Shire as our food inspiration and watched The Fellowship of the Ring.

What is Shire food, you may wonder?

Well, hobbits are all about food. They eat 7 meals a day: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and (later in the evening) supper.

They love growing things, so we had a veggie-heavy dinner, with desserts of course!

-   Potato, cauliflower and carrot pot pies

-   Mushroom and potato stew

-   Green salad

-   Bread and smoked gouda, brie, and cheddar cheese

-   Peanuts and caramel corn

-   Chocolate chip zucchini bread

-   Cupcakes

-   Tea

I like to think that Shakespeare and J.R.R. Tolkein would have been friends. They were both creative and adventurous and loved to write. Basically I just enjoy both their works – from All’s Well That Ends Well to hobbits, it was quite a weekend!