My sister and I recently attended the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, UT. Though the drive from Salt Lake City is kind of a drag, the festival is worth the long hours in the car.
After arriving in Cedar City, we stopped at the Pastry Pub to get a snack. This charming restaurant is located a few blocks away from the festival and they serve amazing chai shakes.
We walked around the festival grounds and enjoyed looking at the various statues of Shakespearean characters. We also checked out the information near the ticket windows about Shakespeare’s history cycle. It was being presented as part of the festival’s “Complete the Canon” project.
A fun part of the festival experience is a visit to the Sweet Shop, where we were looking forward to ordering an Irish jacket potato and vegetable and cheese pasty, along with one of the famous fruit tarts. However, the menu has changed, and overall, it’s a bit of a disappointment. Pasties are no longer available, and baked potatoes can only be ordered as part of a Greenshow picnic meal, rather than ala carte. The tarts tasted different this year as well—the dough seemed saltier and tougher.
A highlight of the evening is the play orientation with festival founder Fred C. Adams. He always provides interesting historical contexts and insights into the evening’s plays. At the time Shakespeare was writing “The Tempest”, reports describing the “new world” were coming back to England from the Jamestown colony, which provided inspiration for the bard’s final play.
We also attended the Greenshow, a 40-minute song and dance program on the green and the courtyard surrounding the Adams Shakespearean Theatre. As always, it was very crowded. During this time, there were other people in period costumes throughout the courtyard, including “wenches” (both female and male) selling tarts and other treats, and a performer doing period woodworking.
The play itself was wonderful. I love “The Tempest”, and Henry Woronicz was wonderful as Prospero. The entire cast did a wonderful job, and the set design and special effects were top notch. Some excellent and detailed reviews of the play can be found here.
After the play, we headed to Marie’s French Bakery & Bistro which was open till midnight (what a great idea!). The man working there greeted us with a friendly “Bon soir,” and was pleased when we responded properly (by repeating the same thing back to him). I ordered a key lime tart and a chocolate éclair, both of which were excellent. The prices were reasonable, and we’ll definitely stop there again the next time we’re in town to see a play.