The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Greetings from Philadelphia

We are in Philly to visit our alma mater with Daniel, who may be interested in going to the University of Pennsylvania. On Monday we are going to the campus information sessions and on the tour of the engineering school. Since we need to be at Penn early, we spent Sunday in the Brandywine Valley, first at Longwood Gardens and then at Rockwood Mansion Park where the Delaware Shakespeare Festival puts on performances. We had a picnic at Longwood before visiting the grounds, where at this time of year there are as many fountains as flowers. It was very hot but we saw two different fountain shows, plus we visited the Italian Water Garden, the small and large lakes, and the conservatory, where there's a water lily display in the courtyard as well as the indoor displays. We've never visited in the summer before, and the colors are different than the other seasons, but there are still plenty of fragrant plants and beautiful flowers.

In the evening we went to Rockwood Mansion, where we had another picnic while watching the pre-show, which included a discussion of why actors aren't supposed to say "Macbeth" and a chance for kids to learn fight choreography with some of the crew. I had trouble watching Act One because the sun hadn't gone down and was blinding my left eye, but once it dropped behind the trees, I enjoyed the show a lot; it was quick-paced and energetic despite the heat, and the murders of the Macduffs and Banquo were surprisingly graphic for a family-friendly troupe. The Macbeths were pretty good -- acting fine, enunciation not always the best -- but Erik Mathew's Macduff was the most memorable character in this production.


Longwood Gardens is all about water in the summer, including these lily pads at the conservatory...


...the fountain show set to music near the mansion...


...the Italian Water Garden along the lake trail...


...and the fountains in the children's garden inside the conservatory.


This is Rockwood Mansion, a 150-year-old estate built by a Quaker banker to look like a Rural Gothic English masterpiece.


Before the show, kids got lessons in swordplay using foam weapons.


Macbeth gets his first prophecy from one of the witches...


...and gets what he deserves from Macduff, in this case with real swords.
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