I was an English major in college and I really love fussy writing, but even I get bored with Shakespeare sometimes. Transport a Macbeth soliloquy outside to a gorgeous park, and I’m rapt in attention.
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison is worth attending for the beauty of the site alone. The company performs outside under a grand white tent on the lush lawns of Boscobel, an 1800s Federal mansion overlooking a breathtaking stretch of the Hudson River with views of mountains in the distance.
Critics love this summer’s performance of “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” a comedic take on Shakespeare’s classic play about the battle of the sexes. No old and stodgy lines here. According to Examiner.com’s Abby Luby: “Because there is so much emphasis on what’s being said, the play is susceptible to verbal lethargy. But the brilliance of the cast is the ability to fully engage the audience by speaking Shakespeare’s 16th century English using 21st century inflections and rendering a palatable lingo.”
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is also performing Romeo and Juliet and 39 Steps for the 2012 season. The final performance is on September 1.
Like any Shakespeare in the park, you bring your own chairs and picnic fare. But you don’t have to bring food: There are sandwiches, wraps, coffee, tea, ice cream and more available at the Shakespeare Cafe in the concessions tent. Or, opt for one of the festival’s Gourmet Catered Picnic Dinners, with offerings like Vegetable Ratatouille with Garlic Ciabatta Toasts ($16) or Grilled Chicken Breast with Lemon Aioli ($17). Order your picnic when you book your ticket!
Boscobel is only one mile south of Cold Spring, NY, and we’ve written up a comprehensive guide to the adorable Hudson River town. So make a day of it!
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival @ Boscobel, 1601 Route 9D, Garrison.