Masque Alfresco, known for its accessible brand of commedia dell’arte theatre is in the middle of its nine show Lake Oswego run of Goldoni’s Superior Casa Nova on the lawn near the Iron Furnace at George Rogers Park. Remaining performances are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on July 27-29 and August 3-5. The actors then move to Bagley Park in Hillsboro (August 10-12) and Beaverton Library Lawn (August 18, 19, 25 and 26).
Haven’t caught their act yet? Let Goldoni’s English counterpart, Shakespeare, convince you to go in the way only his words could.
“The play’s the thing.” Plays were Shakespeare’s bread and butter so of course he’d think you should attend, even if he isn’t the playwright behind Masque Alfresco’s current production and even though the actors throw in a few commedia dell’arte trademarks you might not find in a typical Shakespearean production like slapstick beatings, hat juggling and political jokes.
“O, had I but followed the arts!” The bard would caution you from sharing Sir Andrew’s regrets in Twelfth Night. Andrew laments that he spent too much time bear-baiting, fencing and dancing instead of following the arts. Learn from his mistakes—get thee to a play!
“But, for my own part, it was Greek to me.” Anyone who has ever attended a Shakespearean play might have felt the way Casca did in Julius Caesar. But luckily for you, Masque Alfresco adapts the language of their plays to modern audiences complete with contemporary references to keep them fresh, funny, and entertaining.
“The course of true love never did run smooth.” Not to be a spoiler here, but let’s just say that Zoletto, the doting husband in La Casa Nova, learns Shakespeare’s lesson the hard (and hilarious) way.
“Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t.” The same could be said for Masque Alfresco. They describe their play as a“zany” production complete with outrageous characters and “all the slapstick you’d care to shake a schtick at.”
“I bear a charmed life.” While these were Macbeth’s words, I have a feeling that after you set out your blanket while taking in the sights and sounds of Masque Alfresco on the George Rogers Park lawn overlooking the Willamette River, you’ll be thinking the same thing.