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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spending a Night at the Shaw Festival

Long before people headed to Niagara on the Lake to sample the world-class chardonnays and rieslings, and prior to outfitters like Butterfield & Robinson arriving on the scene to design exceptional day rides, there was the renowned Shaw Festival. Held from the beginning of April to early November, the theatre festival celebrates the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries. More than a dozen productions are performed each year at four stages from works created by Noel Coward, Arthur Miller, Oscar Wilde, Lillian Hellman, and a slew of other noteworthy playwrights. This year, expect to find Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls, Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan, and Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara. Last night at Royal George Theater, I took in Our Betters, a rarely performed play by one of my favorite writers, Somerset Maugham. Set in 1920s London, the play is based on a familiar story line from the popular television show, Downton Abbey, where a down on his luck British aristocrat marries a well-to-do American gal for her money. Yet that’s where the similarity ends. Our Betters is much more of a satire, a predictable romp that gets big laughs. Though it’s not Maugham at his finest, it’s still a delight to watch due to the exemplary acting, absorbing sets, and the art deco costumes that take you back to the Roaring 20s. Kudos to the Shaw Festival for continuing to produce plays where biting wit and rapid-fire repartee entertain. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/23/13 at 10:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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