Summer’s here and the time is right for Shakespeare (in the streets?)

I love summer. Shakespeare blooms all over town (state, country, world).

And in past years, I’ve taken the family up to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. But alas, this summer is too packed. Jack graduated from high school last week. Early next month, we’re taking a celebratory family vacation (a post-graduation [both high school- and college-] tradition in the Walthall household). Then it’s off to freshman orientation at San Jose State…and then back to SJSU for move-in in mid-August. And then within two weeks of that, it’s back to kinder for Lisa (and hopefully back into a high school classroom for me).

Thus, time is (too) tight for a trip to Oregon (or Utah for their festival and their Wooden O Symposium where I presented last year on Much Ado and Othello).

So, what’s a Bard-lover to do?

Well, take advantage of local opportunities…

A week from tonight, Lisa and I will catch Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’ Henry IV with Tom Hanks as Falstaff.

The folks over at Independent Shakespeare Company are prepping their summer season of free Shakespeare in L.A.’s Griffith Park, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Titus Andronicus. For me, Titus is the must-see here, but since I love their approach to Shakespeare, we’ll try to hit both shows.

Theatricum Botanicum in hills between the San Fernando Valley and the coast is doing both Midsummer and Coriolanus. I’ve never see Coriolanus live on stage, so that’s a draw (but only for me… it’s not that big a thing for Lisa). I’d usually pass on Midsummer… but I know someone in the production, and I’d love to see my former cast-mate from Othello… so we’ll try to check that out.

Shakespeare by the Sea is doing their tour of SoCal with both The Winter’s Tale and The Merry Wives of Windsor. I’ve never seen their stuff, so I’m intrigued. And the fact that I have another former cast-mate in their productions makes these a real draw… and though I’d usually just say give me the outlandish comedy of Wives, this particular performer is also playing Hermione in Winter’s so… you know, that’s kind of a big deal.

Then we’ve got our big local company the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival firing up The Two Noble Kinsmen and Othello this summer.  Neither is a huge draw for me, but since I’ve never seen Kinsmen, I’ll probably try to check that out (and depending who’s starring in Othello, maybe that one, too).

And then of course, there’s Toil and Trouble’s summer shows of Midsummer, burlesque-style.

So despite not making a trip out of SoCal for Shakespeare, I should get my Bard-fix this summer…

Reviews will be coming…

[oh, and if you should see any Shakespeare and want to share your reviews as a “guest correspondent” for the Project, let me know… I’d love to hear from you!]

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