Boise Highlights

The Idaho Shakespeare Festival Wraps Up Another Season Under the Stars

As+the+ultimate+feel-good+musical%2C+Mamma+Mia+puts+smiles+on+the+faces+and+catchy+songs+in+the+heads+of+everyone+who+watches+the+show.%0A
As the ultimate feel-good musical, Mamma Mia puts smiles on the faces and catchy songs in the heads of everyone who watches the show.

As the ultimate feel-good musical, Mamma Mia puts smiles on the faces and catchy songs in the heads of everyone who watches the show.

Photo Credit: Idaho Shakespeare Festival

Photo Credit: Idaho Shakespeare Festival

As the ultimate feel-good musical, Mamma Mia puts smiles on the faces and catchy songs in the heads of everyone who watches the show.

Sofi Serio, Editor-In-Chief

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Why do Boiseans take such delight in the Idaho Shakespeare Festival? Is it the delectable food that can be ordered from the Shakespeare Cafe? Or is it the feeling of watching a live play, something so occasional in the modern world? Or maybe it’s the feeling evoked when sitting under the stars in the cool summer air, watching plays surrounded by family and friends.

Something about the Idaho Shakespeare Festival keeps Zoe Carr coming back to be a part of all the action. Carr has spent the last two summers working as an apprentice for the festival, which includes 10 weeks of acting, play analysis, improv and working behind the scenes on the main stage shows.

Carr asserts that it’s the combination of beautiful scenery and flawless performances that keeps people coming back year after year.

“I haven’t talked to anyone who’s left an ISF show without some sort of emotional reaction, from screaming and clutching their chair during “Misery”, to dancing in their seat after the curtain call of “Mamma Mia!”. Nothing beats being able to look up halfway through a show and see the stars, either.”

This summer, The Idaho Shakespeare Festival wrapped up quite possibly it’s most successful season to date. Tickets quickly sold out, and it’s no secret why. The plays featured this year packed a punch; Misery, Macbeth, Mamma Mia, Pride and Prejudice and Beehive were the line-up, and they all featured strong female leads as well as pushed actors to their limits in performance.

When asked why she spent her summer working from early in the morning to late at night for plays she wasn’t even cast in, Zoe stressed how every small role makes a huge difference in the success of the play.

“It makes the little jobs that apprentices do, like mopping and running props from one side of the stage to another feel mundane and small. At the end of the day though, I’ve learned more from those mundane tasks than I have sitting and hearing about how to work in the industry… I look forward to going back every night and crack a grin every time I hear the applause during curtain call. Someone in the audience may have just seen their favorite show ever, and I was a tiny part of that.”

Among Zoe’s favorite shows from this summer was Mamma Mia, the upbeat musical featuring ABBA’s greatest hits. The play combined dancing, singing and a storyline closely mirroring the first Mamma Mia movie. For many, this is exactly the rendition of Mamma Mia they expect to see. However, others complained that ISF needed to add more of a twist to the show in order for them to call it their own rendition of the musical.

Nevertheless, the impeccable acting made even the Mamma Mia haters crack a grin. A highlight of the show was undoubtedly the animation many of the actors put in to playing their characters. Actors Alex Syiek (Bill Anderson) and Jillian Kates (Donna Sheridan) stole the show with Syiek’s hilarious dancing (would you call it dancing, or just jerking?) and Kate’s incredible vocals and ability to somehow appear in nearly every scene.

Overall, what Mamma Mia may have lacked in originality and creativity was made up for in the spunky dancing, upbeat vibes and ability to make the audience rise to their feet before the show was even up. Unfortunately, if you were hoping to catch Mamma Mia in action, it closed on August 31st. However, if you are a truly committed Mamma Mia fan, you can still catch the play in Cleveland as it heads there September 28th.

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The Idaho Shakespeare Festival Wraps Up Another Season Under the Stars