“When you see a guy reach for stars in the sky…” I woke up to this song going ‘round and ‘round in my head this morning. Yesterday, it was, “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” And the day before, “If I were a bell I’d go ding, dong, ding, dong, ding.” All because Gary and I just returned from Ashland, Oregon and a joyous performance of “Guys and Dolls.” I had to restrain myself from singing along with the actors. At the end of the show, I sang my way out of the theater. I could have imagined it, but I saw other people dancing.
There’s nothing complicated about the guys or the dolls or the plot – just one upbeat song after another, strung together with funny one-liners and, of course, the love story. “Love is the thing that has nipped them.” The production we saw had the audience clapping and stomping their feet after each song.
(#1) You might be wondering why anyone would drive seven hours to see a regional theater perform a 65-year old musical. “Guys and Dolls” is part of this year’s playbill for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We always wanted to go but couldn’t leave Ariela. She would have enjoyed the plays but not the long drive. (More about the other two plays we saw in future posts.)
(#2) We stayed in a refurbished Italianate Victorian mansion built in 1883, located just a short walk to the theater. The McCall House spoiled us with gourmet breakfasts and yummy gluten-free (thank you) treats. The innkeeper was a fount of knowledge for all things Ashland and beyond. The inn and the town, with its boutiques, bookstores, galleries, and wine tasting rooms, took us to another time and place, or maybe we just stopped time long enough to appreciate the lush Rogue Valley.
(#3) One day, we drove another two hours to Crater Lake. There’s a reason Olympic Paints, and Pittsburgh Paints, and even Toyota all named a color “Crater Lake Blue.” But their paint boxes are nothing like the glorious hue of the lake, a lake so clear we could see the clouds reflected on the mirrored surface of the water. The stillness hypnotized us. We spoke in whispers so not to break the spell. “I dreamed last night I got on a boat to heaven.”
It looks amazing! It’d take longer than 7 hours for me to get there from England but it’d be worth it I’m sure!
People come from all over the world to go to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. You would be in good company.
Glad you enjoyed your trip to Ashland. We thought Guys and Dolls was a wonderful production, too! Looking forward to next year at the OSF. We’re hooked!
We are, too. We should compare notes!
Harriet, So glad you enjoyed Ashland and wrote about it so eloquently! It is a magical place, we agree. What a fantastic job OSF
Love this beautiful nod to Ashland and the amazing Shakespeare Festival that I hope to get to one of these days! The photos are gorgeous, and I love the reminders of how happy song lyrics and theater can make you! Looking forward to hearing more about the trip!!!
Always enjoy reading your new posts. (photo of Crater Lake was beautiful) With your new author and writing skills I look forward to more posts…..you make articles come alive with just “words”. Ken
Thanks, Ken. I appreciate your encouragement.
Ah, yes, I remember it very well! Thanks for bringing it all back to me.
Beautiful! I miss your stories. Happy to read about your adventures. Keep them coming!
Yay for you! and Gary! >
Wow! Thanks for sharing this – sounds like where I want to be.
You’d love it!
Wonderful article, I love “Guys and Dolls” too.
I will call you later.
I just made reservations for next year. If you’re interested, the 2016 playbill is online.
So glad you enjoyed Ashland. I love it. Flying home shortly from Baltimore. Love, N.
Sign me up.
We also did the Crater Lake drive with Dora a few years back.
Wonderful post and lovely picture.