Sunday, May 29, 2011

Free Shakespeare Part Two

Register online for Optimist’s TWELFTH NIGHT.

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Optimist Theatre had recently opened its web reservations system for its upcoming free outdoor production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The show, which is being directed by Milwaukee Rep resident actor Laura Gordon, will be running June 16th “ through 26th on the campus of Alverno College. Last year'™s production of Tempest had a really unique energy about it that made for the first of what will hopefully be many summer Shakespeare shows for Optimist.

A free show featuring professional local actors doing some of the most legendary work in the history of the English language ends up being pretty popular. In the interest of keeping everything organized, Optimist takes reservations for its performances well in advance. A reservation system has been set-up this year that should keep everything running smoothly. The reservation process takes very little time at all. It'™s a lot like ordering anything online-Âonly you'™re not actually being charged any money.

Those interested in attending can make reservations with Optimist here.

The one catch: it's all booked-up. In the couple of days from getting the press release to writing this blog, the whole thing got booked-up solid. The OT box office website lists a number of seats available for each night of the performance. Much to my surprise even though there appeared to be double-digit seating available for the night I wanted to go, I got an email informing me that the night was all booked-up. And so . . . evidently that's not a dash in front of the number of seats available--as of this writing there aren't 34 seats available for the June 17th performance. There are NEGATIVE 34 seats available. I'm on a waiting list. The email I received informed me that "all is not lost." I should hope so. (missing one MORE production of Twelfth Night isn't the end of the world.)

The best bet for people who didn't get a chance to sign-up for actual seats is this: go to the site, sign-up for a date and no you won't get it. You'll be put on the list on the off chance that someone decides to cancel their attendance for an evening. (This won't happen, but you'll feel better about it possibly missing ANOTHER production of Twelfth Night) Then: show up the night you want to attend anyway. Arrive early. There is plenty of lawn seating that isn't reserved. Invariably there will be people who didn't show-up, but didn't think to cancel their reservation. There will likely be seats available. At least--that's the way that it worked last year . . . 

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