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Summertime Shakespeare at CLU: Comedy of Errors & Winters Tale

July 10, 2010

Summertime is Shakespeare time as festivals and performances sprout in parks and on outdoor stages across the country and around the world.

Watching one of Shakespeare’s plays under the stars or in the shade of a tree, listening to birds or crickets and frogs, relaxing with a picnic and a bottle of wine, is one of my favorite ways to celebrate summer. I’ve enjoyed Shakespeare outdoors at Ashland Oregon, in Colorado, and more recently, in California in Thousand Oaks at CLU, in Ojai at Libbey Bowl, at Grand Performances in downtown LA, and more.

This weekend and next, catch CLU’s 14th Annual Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival lighthearted, family-friendly staging of one of Shakespeare’s shorter plays, “The Comedy of Errors.” Presented in the style of commedia dell’arte, the fast-paced show is full of physical comedy sure to produce belly laughs. According to the Kingsmen,

“The Comedy of Errors” is a tale of mistaken identity involving two sets of identical twins separated at birth. Egeon, the father of one of the sets of twins, is condemned to death but is given a day to raise the ransom required to save him from execution. Laurie Walters, who played daughter Joanie Bradford on the television show “Eight is Enough,” portrays the Abbess, who helps bring about a resolution in the end.

Upcoming performances will be held at 8 p.m. Sunday July 11, 16, 17 and 18. The following weekend, “The Winter’s Tale” opens and will run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from July 23 through Aug. 8 in scenic Kingsmen Park. They say,

“The Winter’s Tale” is a dream-like story that explores the themes of jealousy, love, honor and rebirth. Convinced that his pregnant wife has been unfaithful to him with his childhood friend, King Leontes of Sicilia orders that his friend be killed and his wife imprisoned. Time brings reflection and repentance. The story is tragic and comic, solemn and irreverent.

The festival grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking and for pre-show entertainment featuring Renaissance music, comic Shakespearean improvisations and wandering performers.

Tickets are $15 and free for those under 18. Parking is available at the corner of Mountclef Boulevard and Olsen Road. For more information and details about the plays, visit http://www.kingsmenshakespeare.org or call (805) 493-3455.

I’ll be posting about about more opportunities to experience Shakespeare and other theater performances this summer as often as possible!

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