I’m not a gasper.
But when I arrived at Boscobel on Saturday afternoon, as I rounded the big golden mansion to take in the spectacular view of the Hudson Highlands, I gasped audibly when I saw that the majestic oak that was so much a part of summer at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival had fallen victim to the winds of Hurricane Irene.
For decades, actors began their long entrances under it in long-shadowed afternoons and made their exits under the up-lit tree two hours later.
It was a theatrical tree, one that survived productions of “The Tempest,” but couldn’t survived yet another tempest.
It’d be a shame for such a theatrical tree — which warmed the hearts of onlookers for scores of years — to end up as firewood. I hope they do something appropriate with the remains. I know I’d fork over $25 for a slab of it as a keepsake. Might make a nice fund-raiser, perhaps to aid the 26th season of Hudson Valley Shakespeare which, we learned Saturday, will include “Love’s Labours Lost,” “Romeo & Juliet” and a third show TBA.
Maybe, in reverence to their majestic fallen friend, that third show should be “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”
(Photo by Peter D. Kramer/The Journal News)