Yes, it's time for the Bard.
And last night, after the temperature soared to 108 degrees in Los Angeles, the best place to be was at Pt. Fermin Park in San Pedro, overlooking the ocean, watching Shakespeare by the Sea.
Where, by 8:30, I actually had to put on the sweater I brought.
Heaven! To be cold!
And the play wasn't bad either.
Actually, it was wonderful. The Merry Wives of Windsor, done in period costumes.
Here, Falstaff cowers in the lower right as Mistress Quigly rouses the faux fairies to attack.
My trusty camera has died, and I'm relying on my phone camera, which isn't quite up to the job. Maybe I should start a gofundme page for a new camera?
There are always two plays presented, and this year's second is A Winter's Tale. Also carefully edited and completely comprehensible (if you can get over a woman giving up her child to hide in the woods for 16 years ... but that's Shakespeare's fault).
Tales of Travel and Tech, taken by host Deb who went with me to see Winter's Tale and blogged about it. Stage at left, lots of benches. In fact, Deb went to the trouble of putting up Shakespeare by the Sea's 2018 schedule.
At right is the fearsome bear from Winter's Tale. Don't be fooled: the beast can roar!
Shakespeare by the Sea is celebrating 21 years, and will tour as far north as Encino and south to Laguna Niguel. Here's their calendar. Chances are they'll come to a venue close to you, and the play is free (but your donations are so appreciated!)
Below is Leah Dalrymple as Mistress Quigley. She also played Hermione in Winter's Tale. She was wonderful in both roles, and lovely to talk to afterward (the players assemble in front of the stage for a bit of a gabfest after the show.)
I miss Shakespeare Festival LA, which used to stage plays around the downtown area. Julius Caesar on the steps of City Hall (1999); As You Like it in the old ticketing area of Union Station, and the last few plays, from 2005 on, at the Los Angeles Cathedral's courtyard.
A quick search (OK, not so quick since it took me a bit to figure out the proper title to search for: Shakespeare Festival/LA) tells me that the first production (Twelfth Night) was in Pershing Square in 1986. The current website (ShakespeareCenter.org) describes how the homeless of Pershing Square got involved and even collected trashbags full of cans that could be recycled, in lieu of a cash donation.
Ben Donenberg founded the company, which changed its name to Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles in 2011. And there was no play in that year. But Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles thrives; it is the group who brought us Tom Hanks as Falstaff this year. Huzzah!