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Of Specialists and Polymaths

The pace at which scientists are breaking down their foci of expertise into increasingly narrower fields is breathtaking. Kinda like the way fictional genres become increasingly niche-ified. (Can you say "Cat Mysteries," boys and girls?) It's all quite wonderful, but I hope all these specialists are still talking to specialists in other fields, else the forest will be missed for the trees. Nay, the leaves.
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The Genius of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

by Susanna Clarke “Two magicians shall appear in England…” I tend to catch the tail-end of trends, like an enthusiastic gate-crasher at a party long since broken-up. When friends and family suggest—nay, insist—that I must, I absolutely must watch such-and-such a movie, listen to such-and-such a CD, or read such-and-such a book … well, I generally accept the generously proffered item with a nod of thanks, only to let the DVD, CD, or book gather dust on my desk or else serve as an improvised coaster. Passionate readers are a persistent bunch, however, so eventually I was browbeaten into picking
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Best of Battlestar Galactica – Bill Adama Boozing

For fans of the cult sci-fi series, Battlestar Galactica, Liam and I have put together a little compilation of the “best of” Admiral William Adama (played by the wonderful, craggy-faced Edward James Olmos — his face is a timeworn monument). We noticed a recurring motif in the show — that hard-drinking man’s man Bill Adama had a propensity for saying profound things followed by a swig of whiskey. Often accompanied by his gimlet-eyed XO, the salty Saul Tigh (an equally wonderful Michael Hogan). We couldn’t resist the impulse to put those memorable (though maybe not remembered the next day) moments
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The Play-before-the-Play

SPOILER ALERT!!!! Once again I urge readers who have not yet seen the production, but who are planning to, to stop reading now: I will be discussing some of the more surprising elements of the production and have no wish to spoil anyone’s delight in discovery. (For tickets, go here.) First off, you know as soon as you enter the Bowmer theatre that you’re in for something a little different, for the audience members attending Bill Rauch’s production (many of whom are no doubt familiar with Hamlet and its famous “play-within-a-play”) are treated to something of a “play-before-the-play”: Young Hamlet
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Antic Disposition: OSF 2010 Hamlet

starring Dan Donohue directed by Bill Rauch When it was announced back in the summer of 2009 that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s 2010 season would include a Hamlet directed by Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch, Clan Murphy went all a-flutter (and a-Twitter).  First off, we figured that Rauch would bring some warmth, theatricality and menschlichkeit to a play that seems to invite catastrophic Scylla vs. Charybdis production choices. I mean, how to do this wonderful, gnarly, hoary terrifying play? If you’ve seen more than three or four Hamlets, you may know what I’m saying: On the one side is the
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OSF 2010 Season opens February 19th!

In this sometimes dreary third week of February, Clan Murphy is all a-quiver that the wheel has not only turned on another new season of LOST, but is about to turn on another new season of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Previews begin on February the 19th! Your Humble Bardolater will be attending (with her better half) the first OSF preview of Hamlet, starring Dan Donohue and and directed by Bill Rauch, both Clan favorites. I don’t intend to post a review until I’ve had a chance to see the show a second time a little later, after everyone’s had a
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A Glance Back at OSF 2009

Notwithstanding the gorgeous production of Death and the King’s Horseman starring Derrick Lee Weeden, the hugely entertaining Music Man starring Michel Elich, the side-splittingly funny Servant of Two Masters, and a wonderfully inventive production of All’s Well That Ends Well that actually made me, at least for two hours, actually like that ornery problem play, when friends visiting Ashland asked me last summer which plays to take in at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, my answer was invariably, “see Equivocation first.” And this from a playgoer notorious, when limited by time or pecuniary considerations, for choosing yet another Othello production over
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Death and the King’s Horseman, OSF 2009

[N.B. Bardolatry owes its opportunity to comment early on this marvelous production to director Chuck Smith, who generously offered the parishioners of Our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church the opportunity to see the dress rehearsal on February 11. Ah, the bennies of living in beautiful Ashland, Oregon! The good news for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, in this recession…we’ll be buying tickets for a second viewing.] On a website devoted to reviewing productions of Shakespeare, “spoiler alerts” are largely unnecessary, so famiiar are the plots of the Bard’s classic plays. But for those contemplating seeing this production of Wole Soyinka’s
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OSF Townhall Meeting, Monday October 27, 2008

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival is hosting a free-to-the-public Town Hall Meeting on Monday, October 27 from 7 – 8:30 pm at the Bowmer Theatre in Ashland. Directors Bill Rauch and Paul Nicholson will be onhand, along with other OSF staff, for an open forum discussion. The public was invited to e-mail questions or topics for discussion to townhall@osfashland.org, so here’s what we here at bardolatry sent:
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