Summer Season under Way

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Byline: The Register-Guard

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland opened its outdoor summer season last weekend with productions of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and Edmund Rostand's "Cyrano de Bergerac."

The three plays are performed in rotation at the festival's outdoor Elizabethan Theatre.

Today we review the three new outdoor productions, along with William Inge's "Bus Stop," which opened earlier this spring in the indoor New Theatre.

ALSO SHOWING

There's still time to catch five other plays that opened earlier this year at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland:

Intimate Apparel: A big award winner in New York in 2003-04, this play by Lynn Nottage looks at the life and loves of a black seamstress in Manhattan in 1905. Directed by Timothy Bond. Bowmer Theatre, through Oct. 28.

Up: Bridget Carpenter's gem of a comedy tracks the ups and downs of a Southern California man who tied 42 weather balloons to a lawn chair and allowed himself to float away. The outstanding production, directed by Michael Barakiva, closes Friday at the New Theatre.

The Winter's Tale: The Shakespearean tragedy got mixed reviews here and elsewhere when it opened in February, though it's visually quite stunning. The Bowmer Theatre, through Oct. 29.

The Diary of Anne Frank: Well crafted, well acted production of the Wendy Kesselman revision of the '50s tale of Anne and her family hiding from the Nazis. Bowmer Theatre, through July 9.

The Importance of Being Earnest: Oscar Wilde's comic romp is served up to perfection. Directed by Peter Amster. Bowmer Theatre through Oct. 29.

STILL TO COME

THIS SEASON

Two final plays in this season's lineup open later this summer:

King John: Not the world's favorite bit of Shakespeare, but the festival does them all, in rotation, so you can see the entire canon. …