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The 2014 PaRenFaire

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BubbleWright:
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire 2014


This year at  the PaRenFaire I had a completely different experience than in previous years. Since I was no longer cruising around the Shire making bubbles with the Renaissance Bubble Machine, I was able to partake of the many events and shows the Faire has to offer. Of course, the really big change this year was the fact that Henry VIII was the reigning monarch and not Elizabeth I. Ryan McVeigh as Henry carried the role with dignity, humor, action, and verve. He was well supported by the Professional Cast with their amazingly intricate and well conceived characters. For me, some of the standouts were Sheila Barton as Lady Mayor of the Shire and Dave Gold as her addled husband, around them swirling much of the day's action. Patrick Croce as the Spanish Ambassador was the perfect preening peacock. Emily Lynn (Magdelena) and Liz Kinder (Madam Maude) were a 2 woman wrecking crew who caused havoc throughout the day. Of course, the Blackfryar Cast added so much to the background tapestry, both onstage and in the lanes. The Shire truly seemed to be a living, vital village with them scurrying to and fro, interacting with the patrons in their travels.

What has always amazed me throughout the years is that various singing groups were made up from the acting corps, many of the members only having first met at the PaRenFaire. Besides The Rakish Rogues and The Sultry Sirens of Sin, a new group, Joyful Noyse, sang madrigals and other period songs in English, French, Spanish, and Latin. The group consisted of Nathaniel Barber (The French Ambassador), Jules Schrader (a French Noblewoman), Nathan Miller (Thomas Tallis), Kristina Coia (the Shire Printer), and Taylor Sorrel (Cardinal Thomas Wolsey). Not only were they pitch perfect but also possessed a playful sense of comedy. Add to these the many and varied independent musicians, magicians, acrobats, circus acts, comedy acts, and musical groups, there is something for everyone's taste.

The Shire of Mount Hope itself is an important facade against which the events of the day play out. New buildings and additional tables for eating are some of the new physical improvements. The biggest change this year was a larger chess board stage and replacement of the previous splintery and slippery when wet wooden chess board. The new board has contrasting squares of padded Astro-Turf. Now the actors can take a tumble on the board and bounce, rather than break their neck. Add in the various merchants. wine shop, brew pub, and eateries, The Shire is truly a self contained village.

To sum up, this 2014 season at The PaRenFaire for me was spectacular. I can't wait until next year....................  Felix Cartagena

arbcoind:
Felix, thanks for this post.  I hope to again make it to your Shire in 2015!

Gina

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