When I heard that my friend Karen was playing King Claudius in Shakespeare Dallas‘ all-female version of Hamlet, I raced to get tickets. If you’ve never been to Shakespeare in the Park, you’re in for a treat. This is how Shakespeare was meant to be enjoyed: under the stars. There’s just nothing better than sitting on a picnic blanket eating charcuterie, drinking wine, and watching a fantastic show al fresco when the temperature is 68 degrees. And the fact that tickets are only $20 makes it truly one of the best date nights in Dallas.
I met my friend Victoria at 7 pm (right when the gates open for general admission) to have a picnic and catch up before the show. I brought my favorite Italian Pasta Salad and Spooky Fruit Salad, which I thought would be appropriate since Hamlet is a bit of a spooky show. Shakespeare Dallas really leaned into that, with the creepiest ghost I’ve ever seen in Hamlet and loading the stage with tons of fog for the graveyard scene.
I also baked my famous Chocolate Chip Cookies and Victoria brought hummus and naan bread and a charcuterie board. I love friends who bring treats!
We drank Kuhlman Cellars‘ 2021 Estate Kuhlmanation Rosé. (LOVE that Shakespeare Dallas is BYOB!) A bit tart with strong flavors of apple and pear, this rosé is perfect for fall! I love how it paired with the salami in my Italian Pasta Salad.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this production. I have to admit, I did not like Hamlet before last night. I simply wanted to go support a friend and I always enjoy going to Shakespeare in the Park but this production truly blew me away. This is hands down the best production of Hamlet I’ve ever seen and Jenny Ledel gave the best performance of Hamlet I’ve ever seen. Instead of languishing and brooding in every scene, Jenny’s Hamlet was bright and acerbic, with a James Dean devil-may-care tone in the second act.