By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Crescent Cafe gets a little taste of Shakespeare

Although billed as a celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday, historians don’t know exactly when the playwright and poet was born. What they do know is that he was baptized on April 26, 1564.

Local theater enthusiast Jacqueline Salkield plans to celebrate by directing a version of her original 20-minute play, “The Taming of the Brew.” It pays homage to Shakespeare’s 136-minute -- give or take -- “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Salkield’s version takes place at a brew pub in Portland. “The names are changed, of course, to protect the innocent,” she said.

“It is really super-condensed Shakespeare,” Salkield said. “It is the whole played condensed into 20 minutes, without the spousal abuse. It’s a tamer ‘Taming of the Shrew.’”

The play has not been cast. Anyone interested in playing Katherine, Petruchio, Bianca or any of the other characters is invited to call Salkield at 503-851-2220.

The evening will also feature a four-course Renaissance feast with 15th-century menu items prepared from “The Shakespeare Cookbook.” Gayle and Phil Neuman, veterans of the Oregon Trail Band, will play music on period instruments they handcrafted themselves to accompany the $80 meal.

Salkield said dinner theater may well be an ongoing feature at the cafe. She envisions plays performed for Halloween, weddings and other special occasions.

The play “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” would be perfect for the venue, she said. So would murder mysteries, she added.

“There are all sorts of things we can do,” she said. “We’re in the planning process.”

The cafe is located at 526 N.E. Third St. in downtown McMinnville. And it has a new proprietor in Nora Lamb, who just bought the establishment last month.

While Lamb is excited about the upcoming event, she said it’s too soon to say whether regular dinner theater is realistic.

“This is just a one-time thing right now,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

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