Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2012: Review of the Captivating Chinese Fairy Tale “The White Snake”

 

Well done, OSF!  This play is a rolling display of stunning visuals, from the ensemble umbrella-snake to shimmering forest boughs that drop from the sky, from stormy ocean waves crashing across the stage to colorful puppets and creature costumes that dance through billowing fabrics.  It is a constantly pleasing picture.

In short, Momentum River Expeditions gives “White Snake” two enthusiastic thumbs up!  We highly recommend this show, and it runs through July 8, 2012.

It is action-packed and fairly short with no intermission, so you can skip the great rush to the restroom. An audience of all ages surrounded us – and my kids sat enraptured to the end (even the 9 year old whose bedtime was sometime during the part where the Scholar mysteriously disappears on the mountain, last seen with the Disapproving Monk who is chased away by the protective Green Snake).  The live musical accompaniment is cheerful and tasteful, a true compliment to the action and emotion of the story.

Being already a fan of folk and fairy tales, I believe the real gift from this story is the story itself, and what it offers to teach us. The last line of the play still rings in my head even today, weeks later – don’t worry I won’t spoil it for anyone!  It is an echo of the fairy tale’s morality – a way for me and others like me to make a personal connection between our own shuffling existence and the eccentric world of magic and fantasy that we see in the show.  The story reminds us of one of the most important values of all – a foundation of character for humans and spirits alike.

Read more about this classic Chinese fairy tale here: http://www.osfashland.org/browse/production.aspx?prod=236

Purchase your tickets for White Snake, or another of OSF’s amazing productions here: http://www.osfashland.org


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