For its final weekend of 2012, the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival can soothe itself with these words from its namesake: "The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief, He robs himself that spends a bootless grief."
The festival doesn't need tired, corny platitudes about what the "show must" do.
The absence of nearly $30,000 in sound and lighting equipment stolen last week will not keep the actors from the stage or the audience from benches at the William Carroll Amphitheatre. One more performance each remains of Luther Hanson's "King Arthur" and Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors," and showing up would be a very fine way of helping out with difficult circumstances.
"King Arthur" plays today and Hanson directs his own script with a cast that includes Brent Bianchini as Arthur, Breanna Reilly as Guenevere, Rob August as Lancelot, Bradley Moates as Merlin, Sara Hanson as Morgan and Anthony Person as Mordred.
"The Comedy of Errors" plays Sunday and David Harris directs a cast that includes Kevin Menager as Antipholus, Cathy Hardin Schau as Adriana, Tara Henry as Dromio, Alejandro Padilla as the Duke and Mar-y-sol Pasquiers as Luciana.
The box office opens at 4:30 p.m., the gates at 5, and performances begin at 6. Picnics are welcome. All tickets are $10. Children ages 6 to 12 get in free. Children under 6 are not admitted. Parking is $2.
For information: www.sacramentoshake-speare.net or (916) 558-2228.
Two gents at the lake
The stage, sitting on the gorgeous shore of Lake Tahoe at Sand Harbor State Park, has an awful lot going for it before any actor ever takes it.
Now in its third year under producing artistic director Charlie Fee, the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival this year offers the somewhat problematic "The Two Gentleman of Verona."
One of the Bard's earliest romantic comedies, the story revolves around intimate betrayals in love and friendship. Best friends Valentine and Proteus fall out over a woman when Proteus dumps longtime gal pal Julia while making a play for Valentine's new flame, Silvia. Eventually, order is somewhat haphazardly and perhaps a little irrationally restored.
Fee is also the producing artistic director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise, Idaho, and the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, and he has ingeniously figured out how to share productions with his three employers.
Performances are on the Warren Edward Trepp Stage at Sand Harbor. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, through Aug. 21. Tickets are $25-$85.
For information, go to www.laketahoeshakespeare .com or call (800) 747-4697.
Blues for a Bay Area sky
George C. Wolfe's "Spunk," highly acclaimed but little seen in these parts, comes to the rather unlikely setting of the California Shakespeare Festival in Orinda. Based on three short stories by Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston, the bluesy and visceral play won an Obie for its 1989 off-Broadway premiere.
This cast features some of the best of Bay Area actors including Aldo Billingslea, L. Peter Callender, Margo Hall and Omoze Idehenre. Music is by Chic Street Man and direction is by Patricia McGregor.
It's the show's last weekend under the stars at the Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way. Shows are at 8 p.m. today, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m Sunday. Grounds open for picnicking two hours before curtain.
Tickets are $35 to $71, with discounts available. For information call (510) 548-9666 or go to www.calshakes.org.