Shakespeare in Delaware Park

On Tuesday (August 3rd), I went to see William Shakespeare’s comedy, Twelfth Night, with a group of ladies from the Saint Martin in the Fields church’s women’s group. We were there to eat food, drink wine (or sparkling grape juice), have quality time together, and to get entertained and amused.

Delaware Park is considered the jewel in the crown of Buffalo’s system of parks. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux in the 1870s. It was a grand design. At one point, there was a boathouse on the lake, which is now called Hoyt Lake. There were a series of connecting parkways, as well.

The boathouse was removed in 1901, when the Pan American Exposition was held in Buffalo. Two structures were built during the exposition that still stand. They now house the Buffalo History Museum and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

The Buffalo Zoo began with a small collection of animals in the 1890s. The golf course came into existence in the early 1900s, with the 18-hole golf course being built in 1930.

In 1960, the park was split apart by the construction of the Scajaquada Expressway. Why anyone would want to build a highway through a park is beyond me. In my opinion, a park is a refuge from noise and chaos. The expressway destroys the peaceful oasis aspect of the park. For more information about the history of the park, take a look at the Olmsted Conservancy’s website at: click me

There are a variety of rose bushes in Delaware Park, with roses of different colors and sizes. 

The rose garden is a favorite place for wedding ceremonies.

Another of the many roses in the rose garden.

Here is an interesting collection of native plant species in the park.

A view of Hoyt Lake.

Many people come to the plays with their own food but, just in case you did not carry in food and beverage, you could get a meal at this hotdog stand.

This is the Delaware Park Casino.

Here is another view of Hoyt Lake.

After exploring the park and indulging in food with friends, it is time for the show to start. Lisa Ludwig announces the play and thanks the audience for coming to see the entertainment, despite the gray skies and the rainfall, which occurred about an hour and a half before the start of the play. Fortunately, the storm blew over.

All of the performers in Twelfth Night are male. That is how it would have been in Shakespeare’s time. There would have been no ladies appearing on stage. Back then, it was considered to be scandalous. No, having all men on stage is humorous. One character, for example, played a young woman, who was, for most of the play, disguised as a man. A man playing a woman disguised as a man. One of the “women” fell in love with the “fake man,” but “he” would have nothing to do with “her.”

The characters in Twelfth Night had been shipwrecked. Apparently, they had brought along a large supply of alcoholic beverages because some of them acted as if they were completely inebriated. They were falling down drunk. In fact, one of the performers actually did fall down. It was not an act. To the audience, it looked like an excellent pratfall.

The actors sang, fell over, acted drunk, and had sword fights. There’s nothing like a drunken sword fight.

As it grew later, the air became chillier. I brought a fleece and a blanket. Many others did the same. Fortunately, the show provided much amusement and entertainment.

Twelfth Night plays until August 16th. Show time is 7:30 p.m., at Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park.

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