It was the perfect evening for a picnic when we arrived at Boscobel House in the Hudson Valley. We lugged a cooler and a tote bag across the grounds towards the house, then around front where we had a magnificent view of the Hudson River. We just had a blanket, but many people brought folding chairs and tables- I even saw candles!
We feasted on chicken salad, beet salad, and delicious French bread all washed down with some rose wine. We weren’t quite finished yet when one of the ushers started ringing a bell, a sign that everyone was to go to the tent.
Every summer, there are a series of playa put on in this tent. It’s more like a circus tent than anything else- though the sides are open on two sides, the tent is huge and seats about 500 people! They have a huge number of theatre lights set up inside, all of which must be really heavy.
We settled down in our seats with a glass of wine still in hand (it’s allowed!) and waited for the play to begin. We saw A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and it was like no other version I had ever seen before. First of all, there were only five actors, meaning that sometimes an actor had to be multiple people in a scene, which was a bit jarring. Also, they opened the play by acting out the first few lines in several different ways by different people, leaving me initially confused about who was who. I was glad I knew the story well, though that might have made me more critical than someone watching the play for the first time. It did get better after the opening, but it definitely had some cringeworthy moments.
I’d say the night was worth it for the picnic and experience, but I’m not sure I’d line up to see that particular play again…