A summer “Winter’s Tale”

stageYesterday was our annual pilgrimage to a special event that happens in KC every June – the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.

Held in Southmoreland Park, near our historic and beautiful Country Club Plaza and only a block or two away from the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, it’s the most accessible cultural event of the year. Free admission (though we’re among the many who give every year to “Free Will”), excellent concessions, side shows for the younger set to help them learn more about the Bard – something for everyone.

We take a picnic for a late dinner every year; always something interesting and special. This year it was spinach dip with Hawaiian bread, an avocado pasta salad (recipe courtesy Crumbs Off The Table), fresh berries, and salted caramel brownies with HOMEMADE CARAMEL. The homemade caramel was a big deal because last time I tried it I had a messy disaster on my hands. This time it was perfect.


This was before baking. Note how the caramels actually look like caramels and not gooey glop. Success!

This was before baking. Note how the caramels actually look like caramels and not gooey glop. Success!


I wasn’t terribly familiar with “A Winter’s Tale,” so it was great to get a new Will play under my belt. For the most part it’s the same theatre troupe year after year, and it’s always fun to see who’s playing whom. It turned out it wasn’t my favorite Shakespeare play of all time – I drifted off to sleep a  couple of times there toward the end – but it was still very entertaining.

The Boy's girlfriend stood in as a third kid for us.

The Boy’s girlfriend stood in as a third kid for us.

One of the best things about Shakespeare in the Park is the relaxed atmosphere of camaraderie. No one minds if you step on their blanket in a dash to the porta-johns. Friendly conversation between parties is standard. And there’s some awesome people-watching: hipsters, KC Art Institute students, the rich and locally famous, high school kids making a night of it, families helping their little ones learn theater behavior in a safe and forgiving atmosphere. Oh, and there’s no smoking in the park on Shakespeare nights – a huge plus!

Last year we had Oldest home with us for this event, but the evening ended abruptly when a cold rain drove us home before curtain time. The kids made a second attempt the following week, but The Husband and I stayed home for that one. This year’s play was especially sweet after missing last year’s, but we were all missing the presence of the Oldest Sister. Her goofy sense of humor brings a certain tang to any situation, and we felt the lack. Thankfully she’s thoroughly occupied in Baltimore this weekend by a visit from her Chicago-resident boyfriend, so she’s not feeling too left out. And she’ll be home soon for a week-long visit and a trip to one of our favorite cabins, so our summer won’t be devoid of our most special traditions.

Loving the summertime!


8 thoughts on “A summer “Winter’s Tale”

      • Yes, my favorite is Much Ado About Nothing–love the humor of it. Atlanta has a theater that is set up much like an old pub or play house. I haven’t figured out if it’s smoke free yet, so I haven’t made it there. Also, it is only something our daughter and oldest son would enjoy–it wouldn’t be a family affair. Just waiting for the time she is here and our son is available at the same time. Logistics–hard to manage with adult kids.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s