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Pericles
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
kestrell, teenybuffalo and I went to the ASP's Pericles yesterday. It was a good production of a challenging show. The cast of characters is large, as are the number of settings, and it's difficult to keep them all distinguished, but I thought they did very well. They set it in 1700s Acadia, which had plenty of resonance with the recurring themes of a maritime lifestyle and exile. The play includes a lot of music, in this case mostly folk music that either was from or about maritime life of the 1700s, and was both well chosen and performed.

For those not familiar with Pericles, it bears some structural similarity to Winter's Tale. There's a king who loses his wife and child (though Pericles is merely unfortunate, rather than a jerk like Leontes), a skip in time for the child to grow to ingenue age, and a heart-rending conclusion when all are happily reunited after they thought themselves forever bereft. It's not Will's best poetry, but the plotting and characterization is quite good. More stuff *happens* in this show than in any two average plays. It's got a certain Grimm quality, featuring both an incestuous evil king and, later (and unrelated), an evil stepmother/queen who sends a servant out to kill her step-daughter. There are many narrowly averted murders and rapes. But the good characters all come to a good end, and at least some of the evil ones are punished.

Recommended.

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It also has the best stage direction in Shakespeare, edging out "Exit, pursued by a bear".

"Enter pirates."
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I'm gonna have to disagree with that opinion. "Exit, pursued by a bear" may be only my third-favorite Shakespearean-era stage direction, but it's still much better than "Enter pirates."

That said, the entrance of the pirates, in context, is a really great "Whaaaaat?" moment :-)
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I'm pretty sure I know what the other 2 are.
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