Costumes from Shakespeare’s plays at Old Globe Theatre!

Costumes used in the production of Shakespearean plays are displayed at the First Folio exhibit in the San Diego Central Library art gallery. To the right is a costume worn by Othello.
Costumes used in the production of Shakespearean plays are displayed at the First Folio exhibit in the San Diego Central Library art gallery. To the right is a costume worn by Othello.

Here are some truly amazing costumes! They’re on display in the ninth floor art gallery at San Diego’s downtown Central Library. But not for much longer! The blockbuster First Folio exhibition, of which they are part, comes to a conclusion on July 7.

This blog post focuses on the world famous Old Globe Theatre’s contribution to this museum quality exhibit. The Old Globe has been a beloved destination in San Diego’s Balboa Park for just over 80 years, and has become one of the leading regional Shakespeare theatres in the United States.

Should you enjoy a visit to the gallery, after looking in person at these Shakespearean costumes, stage props, programs, scripts, artwork, historical photos and other fascinating material, go take a close look at one of 233 First Folios that are known to exist in the world! It’s one of the most important literary works (some would argue THE most important literary achievement) ever produced, containing 36 of Shakespeare’s immortal plays. You might not ever get this chance again!

You can see photos of the actual First Folio and much more from the rest of the exhibit here.

Visitor to First Folio special exhibit examines photos from the history of the Old Globe, one of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the United States. The cloak is from a production of Henry IV, Part 1.
Visitor to First Folio special exhibit examines photos from the history of the Old Globe, one of the leading Shakespeare theatres in the United States. The cloak is from a production of Henry IV, Part 1.
The Old Globe has grown to become the sixth largest regional theatre in the United States. It opened in Balboa Park in 1935 during the California Pacific International Exposition.
The Old Globe has grown to become the sixth largest regional theatre in the United States. It opened in Balboa Park in 1935 during the California Pacific International Exposition. (Click image to enlarge.)
Craig Noel, Founding Director, helped the Old Globe grow from a small community organization into one of America's great regional theatres.
Craig Noel, Founding Director, helped the Old Globe grow from a small community organization into one of America’s great regional theatres.
Props used in Old Globe production of Richard III include a simple crown, scepter and wooden throne.
Props used in Old Globe production of Richard III include a simple crown, scepter and wooden throne.
Newspaper articles cover how the Old Globe Theatre burned down in 1978 due to arson, then was rebuilt. Pages from a script of Hamlet were recovered from the fire.
Newspaper articles recall how the Old Globe Theatre burned down in 1978 due to arson, then was rebuilt. Pages from a script of Hamlet were recovered from the fire.
Bust of William Shakespeare. This Carrier-Belleuse sculpture was rescued from the Old Globe Theatre in 1978 as it was burning. It became a symbol of the Old Globe's survival.
Bust of William Shakespeare. This Carrier-Belleuse sculpture was rescued from the Old Globe Theatre in 1978 as it was burning. It became a symbol of the Old Globe’s survival.
One display case at the First Folio exhibit contains assorted Old Globe programs and publications from 1935 to today.
One display case at the First Folio exhibit contains assorted Old Globe programs and publications from 1935 to today.
Costume designed by Robert Morgan of character Moth, a Faerie, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Costume designed by Robert Morgan for character Moth, a Faerie, in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Headpiece and photos from Old Globe production of The Winter's Tale.
Headpiece and photos from Old Globe production of The Winter’s Tale.
Costume of Hermione, Queen of Sicilia, in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.
Costume for Hermione, Queen of Sicilia, in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.
Fun costume designed by Lewis Brown for court jester Touchstone, in Shakespeare's As You Like It.
Fun costume designed by Lewis Brown for court jester Touchstone, in Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
Artwork depicts Touchstone, court jester in Shakespeare's As You Like It. (To me he appears both ridiculous . . . and unsettling.)
Artwork depicts Touchstone, court jester in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. (To me he appears both ridiculous . . . and unsettling.)
Costume designed by David Israel Reynoso for Viola, in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
Costume designed by David Israel Reynoso for Viola, in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
One display case contains an assortment of cool props from past Old Globe productions.
One display case contains an assortment of cool props from past Old Globe productions.
Yorick's skull, with pages from a Hamlet script and photo of Lucas Hall in the title role.
Yorick’s skull, with pages from a Hamlet script and photo of Lucas Hall in the title role.
Costume from 2007 Old Globe production of Hamlet worn by the title character.
Costume from 2007 Old Globe production of Hamlet worn by the title character.
Costumes for Claudius and Gertrude, used in Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet.
Costumes for Claudius and Gertrude, used in Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy Hamlet.

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Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit coming to San Diego!

William Shakespeare

I learned something extraordinary today!

From June 4 to July 7, free to the public, an authentic First Folio of William Shakespeare will be on display at the San Diego Central Library downtown, in their 9th floor art gallery!

Here’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a very rare First Folio, containing some the most important works of English and World Literature ever penned! The book will be opened at Hamlet’s famous line “To be or not to be” — and unquestionably many eyes will read it! In addition, the exhibition will include other material concerning Shakespeare, his history and his work. There will also be interesting items from the world-famous Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park, including Shakespearean props, costumes and photographs of past theatrical productions.

The First Folio is on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. The special exhibition is in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

But that’s not all! Throughout this spring and summer, over the course of several months, the Old Globe Theatre and the San Diego Public Library will be teaming up with various schools and organizations to bring our city a whole slew of exciting activities celebrating William Shakespeare. There are plays, recitations, lectures, reenactments, games, film screenings, teas and a whole bunch more. Many of the activities will be held at different libraries around the city. It’s all too much to detail here. So check out the official website!

This is going to be great fun!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you like to read short pieces of thought-provoking fiction? You might enjoy checking out Short Stories by Richard.

Three magic benches in front of the Old Globe!

Three magic benches are visible in this photo. Can you spot them?
Three magic benches are visible in this photo. Can you spot them?

I discovered three magic benches during my walk through Balboa Park this afternoon! All three are situated in front of the Old Globe Theatre, one of San Diego’s great cultural treasures.

How do I know these benches are magic? It’s very easy to see! Just examine the following photos, and read the captions!

The first bench is dedicated to that magical playwright Shakespeare! As you might recall, the Bard is associated with the Globe Theatre, which was in London.
The first bench is dedicated to that magical playwright Shakespeare! As you might recall, the Bard is associated with the original Globe Theatre, which was in London.
The iconic face of William Shakespeare on the side of a fantastic public bench in Balboa Park's Old Globe Courtyard.
The iconic face of William Shakespeare on the side of a fantastic public bench in Balboa Park’s Old Globe Courtyard.  Sit here and be inspired!
A jolly character from the Shakespeare comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor.
A jolly character from the Shakespeare comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor.
A famous scene from Hamlet. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy...
A famous scene from Hamlet. Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…
The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego is where you want to see Shakespeare's famous tragedy Julius Caesar.
The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego is where you want to see Shakespeare’s famous plays, including the tragedy Julius Caesar.
Here's the second magic bench. Looks ordinary? Don't be deceived! Sit or lie here, and you might mysteriously be transported far away!
Here’s the second magic bench. Looks ordinary? Don’t be deceived! Sit or lie here, and you might mysteriously be transported far away!
And finally, the magic piano bench. Anybody can sit here and play through January, courtesy of the San Diego Symphony's PLAY ME: Pianos In Public Spaces event.
And finally, the magic piano bench. Anybody can sit here and play music through January, courtesy of the San Diego Symphony’s PLAY ME: Pianos In Public Spaces event!

To learn more about the ten public pianos that have been placed around San Diego, check out my previous blog post!

To experience some magic in wonderful Balboa Park, head over to the courtyard in front of the world famous Old Globe Theatre!
To experience magic in wonderful Balboa Park, head over to the courtyard in front of the world famous Old Globe Theatre!
The Old Globe Theatre has another great lineup for 2016. World-class entertainment in amazing Balboa Park!
The Old Globe has another great lineup for 2016. World-class entertainment in amazing Balboa Park!

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Do you like to read original, thought-provoking fiction? Visit my Short Stories by Richard writing blog!

Signs of the holiday season appear in San Diego!

Signs of the holiday season have sprung up around San Diego a week or two before Thanksgiving.
Signs of the holiday season have sprung up around San Diego a week or two before Thanksgiving.

The holidays are almost upon us! Four days until Thanksgiving!

While walking around San Diego this weekend, I noticed some signs of the coming holiday season. So I took pictures!

Ushers file past the Dr. Seuss Grinch Christmas Tree at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.
Ushers file past the fun Dr. Seuss Grinch Christmas Tree in front of the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.
Holiday lights are up in the courtyard of Balboa Park's House of Hospitality.
Holiday lights are up in the courtyard of Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality.
Poster in Balboa Park advertises New Direction at the North Pole! Joyful music will fill San Diego during the holiday season.
Poster in Balboa Park advertises New Direction at the North Pole! Joyful music will fill San Diego during the holiday season.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park is almost ready for December Nights, which will be held December 4 and 5 this year.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park is almost ready for December Nights, which will be held December 4 and 5 this year.
Frosty the Snowman painted on a store window in San Diego's sunny East County.
Frosty the Snowman painted on a store window in San Diego’s sunny East County.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless in Golden Hall at the Civic Center.
The Salvation Army will be serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless in Golden Hall at the Civic Center.
White Christmas opens Friday at the Spreckels Theatre.
White Christmas opens Friday at the Spreckels Theatre.
Kansas City Barbeque is offering active military a free Thanksgiving dinner.
Kansas City Barbeque is offering active military a free Thanksgiving dinner.
The San Diego Run For the Hungry takes place Thanksgiving morning.
The San Diego Run For the Hungry takes place Thanksgiving morning.
Traditional holiday garland and colorful ornaments festoon the famous Donut Bar in downtown San Diego.
Traditional holiday garland and colorful ornaments festoon the Donut Bar in downtown San Diego.
One of many beautiful wreaths hung all around the Horton Plaza shopping center in downtown San Diego.
One of many beautiful wreaths hung all around Horton Plaza in San Diego.  Christmas shopping is about to really get started on Black Friday!
Surfing Santa poster in a window of the Seaport Cookie Company.
Surfing Santa poster in a window of the Seaport Cookie Company.
Some shiny Christmas tree ornaments and festive entertainment near the Seaport Village carousel.
Some shiny Christmas tree ornaments and festive entertainment near the Seaport Village carousel.
Jolly old Saint Nick is being hung with care near stockings and candy cane pillars at the front door of a Seaport Village shop.
Jolly old Saint Nick is being hung with care near stockings and candy cane pillars at the front door of a Seaport Village shop.

Join me for more fun sights on Facebook and Twitter!

Do you like to read inspirational, thought-provoking fiction? Visit my Short Stories by Richard writing blog!

Dr. Seuss lives at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas banner on the Old Globe Theatre.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas banner on the Old Globe Theatre.

I saw on television that the Dr. Seuss Christmas tree in Balboa Park’s theatre complex was officially lighted a few days ago. I missed the event! Darn it! It looked like a whole lot of fun!

During my walk this morning, I decided to swing past San Diego’s famous Old Globe Theatre and check things out. It looks like all the colorful holiday decorations are up, and everything’s ready for the big Balboa Park December Nights festival in a couple weeks.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas has played at the Globe for seventeen consecutive seasons. Theodor Geisel, better known as much-beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss, lived in nearby La Jolla, a beautiful neighborhood just north of downtown San Diego.

Dr. Seuss Christmas tree at the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.
Dr. Seuss Christmas tree at the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center.
The fun Christmas tree is up again in Theodor Seuss Geisel's hometown!
The fun Christmas tree is up again in Theodor Seuss Geisel’s home city!
Kids love the Dr. Seuss displays all around the Old Globe plaza area.
Kids love the whimsical Dr. Seuss displays all around the Old Globe plaza area.
Another Who from Whoville near bench in the Craig Noel Garden.
Another Who from Whoville hanging out near a bench in the Craig Noel Garden.
Fun Grinch shirts for sale at the very cool Old Globe gift shop.
Fun Grinch shirts for sale at the very cool Old Globe gift shop.
Family gets a festive holiday photograph by the Seuss tree in Balboa Park.
Family gets a festive holiday photograph by the Seuss tree in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
The grouchy old green Grinch is peering over the gift shop!
The grouchy old green Grinch is peering over the gift shop’s roof!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is playing at the Old Globe for its 17th season!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is playing at the Old Globe for its 17th season!

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Photos of San Diego’s Spreckels Theater Building.

The Spreckels Theater Building was erected downtown in 1912.
The Spreckels Theater Building was erected in downtown San Diego in 1912.

I must confess I’ve never seen a show at the historic Spreckels Theatre. I do occasionally sit at a table in the building’s Grand Lobby. On a quiet Saturday I’ll eat lunch and write while watching pedestrians pass down the Broadway sidewalk, just outside the glass doors.

The mixed-use Spreckels Theater Building was built in 1912 and has been a cool sight in downtown San Diego for over a hundred years. While the upper stories are occupied by numerous small offices, the theatre itself was built as a 1,915-seat auditorium with an ornate Baroque interior. Over the decades, the theatre has also served as a vaudeville house and movie palace. Famous performers at the theatre have included Enrico Caruso, John Barrymore, Al Jolson, Will Rogers, and Abbott and Costello. In 1978, when Balboa Park’s famous Old Globe Theatre was destroyed by fire, the Spreckels was used as a temporary stage for the Globe. Today, as a live presentation venue, the Spreckels Theatre attracts many diverse attractions, including concerts, comedy shows, and dance and theatrical productions.

The six-story building, designed by Harrison Albright with influences from the Chicago School style of architecture, was built by philanthropist John D. Spreckels, a name you might have noted elsewhere on my blog. Spreckels was a wealthy sugar heir and leading San Diego entrepreneur. He wanted the building to commemorate the opening of the Panama Canal, much like the Panama-California Exposition, that would be held in Balboa Park in 1915.

Plaque on The Spreckels Building indicates it's an historical site of the City of San Diego.
Plaque on The Spreckels Building indicates it’s an historical site of the City of San Diego.
The Spreckels marquee is a cool fixture on Broadway in San Diego.
The Spreckels marquee is a cool fixture on Broadway in San Diego.
Classic theatrical figures above and beside the marquee.
Classic theatrical figures above and beside the marquee.
Looking up at Spreckels sign.
Looking up at the Spreckels sign.
The polished marble lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building.
The shining, polished onyx Grand Lobby of the Spreckels Theater Building.
Close look at ornate ceiling in the lobby.
Close look at the ornate old ceiling in the Grand Lobby. The building has undergone several restorations over the years, most recently in 2012.
Many-colored light above inside entrance to the historic old theatre.
A Tiffany window depicting Nine Dancing Muses was originally above the theatre’s entry. While stored during World War II due to blackout regulations in the city, the window was stolen. It was replaced in 1985 by this colorful window designed by Yaakov Agam.
Gazing west down Broadway on another sunny day.
Gazing west down Broadway on another sunny day.

To enjoy future posts, you can “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter.

Shakespeare lives at the Old Globe Theatre.

old globe theatre in san diego

Now back to our walk in Balboa Park!

You’re looking at the Old Globe Theatre. It’s modeled after the original Globe Theatre in London, where Shakespeare enjoyed watching many plays that he’d penned. This beloved building is a popular San Diego landmark.

The Tudor-style building was originally constructed in 1935, and was first used for the California Pacific International Exposition to stage Shakespearean plays. In 1978 it was burned down by an arsonist. A nearby festival stage was quickly erected so that performances could go on, then the Old Globe was rebuilt with the generous help of many San Diegans.

Since 1949, The Old Globe has hosted an annual summer Shakespeare Festival. During the summer and winter, the theatre puts on about 15 different shows including modern plays, comedies, musicals and classics.

Many productions that originated here have gone on to Broadway. These shows have won nine Tony Awards and almost 60 nominations!

Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center near Old Globe Theatre.
Karen and Donald Cohn Education Center next to Old Globe Theatre.

Pleasant stroll toward the Old Globe Theatre.

old globe theatre comes into view

Here comes the famous Old Globe Theatre into view! It’s the round Tudor-style building there on the left. More about it in my next blog post…

museum of man and california tower from the east

Turning for a moment to the left, we see the east side of the Museum of Man’s colorful dome and the picturesque California Tower.

a pleasant nook in balboa park

A pleasant nook below with benches. That’s the Craig Noel Garden, named after the Old Globe Theatre’s founding director. This is a great place to take a rest, or read a book!

Water splashes from face in fountain at west end of the Craig Noel Garden.
Water splashes from face in fountain at west end of the Craig Noel Garden.
Plaque explains how Craig Noel helped to found the Old Globe Theatre.
Plaque explains how Craig Noel helped to found the Old Globe Theatre.
Passage by Museum of Man leads back toward El Prado.
Passage by Museum of Man leads back toward El Prado.

Follow me to see Balboa Park’s theatres.

view from el prado of conrad prebys theatre center

Join me as we walk east through Balboa Park. Having passed the Museum of Man, we now turn north to peer through an archway that leads to three of San Diego’s most prominent theatres. They are the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, and the world-famous, much celebrated Old Globe Theatre. The latter is modeled after the original Globe Theatre in London, where William Shakespeare saw many of his own plays performed. Just a sliver is visible in this photo, on the left.

In the next blog post we will proceed through the archway…

Another pic taken from an archway on the opposite side of El Prado.
Another pic taken from an archway on the opposite side of El Prado.