I’ve visited the Nichols Arboretum each of the last two weekends.
The weekend before last, I stopped by the arb to see the peonies.
They weren’t quite “at peak” at that point, but still beautiful. While I was there, I did some wandering around, and went to sit down by the river for a bit.
Sometimes Michiganders get nice things – like blue skies, lush green spaces, and warm sunshine. Ahhhh, serenity. The arb is good for my soul.
This past weekend, I returned to the arb to see this years “Shakespeare in the Arb” performance, this year featuring “As You Like It.”
While this event has been taking place for the last 14 years here in Ann Arbor, this was my first attendance to a “Shakespeare in the Arb” performance.
The huz and I showed up shortly before 5:30 PM on Friday night to get our tickets, sold at the box office at the Washington Heights entrance. (No advance tickets are available unless you’re a member.) The box office opened at 5:30 PM, and the show began at 6:30 PM. There was already a line of 20 or so people when we arrived, not including people showing up for their will-call tickets.
Once we had our tickets, we hiked through the arb to reach the amphitheater, which takes a good 10-15 minutes to reach on foot. On our walk, we again passed the peony gardens, at their peak(!), as well as the river.
A pleasant shady spot in the grass was chosen for lounging, upon our arrival to the amphitheater. We brought blankets to sit on in the grass. Guests are allowed to bring chairs as well, but asked to sit behind the “ground-sitters” if they do have a chair. I think blankets are the way to go!
While we waited, we listed to musicians performing music from the play we would soon be seeing.
At 6:30 PM the performance began. I must say it was so incredibly lovely to enjoy the play outdoors on a warm summer evening, surrounded by nature. Really something special. Plus we had a perfectly warm and sunny evening.
Every scene or two (or three), the play would change settings, and the audience would follow the cast to a new location in the arb. We moved scenes maybe ten times or so during the performance. This was just enough to keep things interesting, yet not hinder comprehension of the story, over the course of about 2.5 hours.
I had never read nor seen Shakespeare’s comedy “As You Like It,” until this performance, and, well, I Liked It.
In fact, I loved it!
Methinks “Shakespeare in the Arb” will have to be a new annual tradition for me! I highly recommend attending a performance if you have a chance and are in there area. There are still many several performance left in June (check out the schedule here).
Gotta take advantage of these outdoorsy summer events while we can!