The summer theater festivals hit full throttle this weekend with Shakespeare center stage and assorted classics, musicals and spoofs on bills across the region.
Sacramento Shakespeare Festival
Two plays alternate in the annual festival produced by City Theatre at Sacramento City College.
• Lori Ann DeLappe-Grondin directs a version of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” set in post-WWI Britain with a live gypsy band accompaniment. With Russell Dow as Benedick, Jackie Gailbreath as Beatrice, Brittany King as Hero and Tim Brown as Claudio.
• Christine Nicholson directs playwright Ken Ludwig’s new adaptation of “The Three Musketeers.” With Aaron Kitchen as D’Artagnan, Alejandro Padilla as Porthos, Elliott Herzer as Aramis, Paj Crank as Athos, and Michael Sicilia as Cardinal Richelieu.
When: “Much Ado About Nothing” opens Saturday and plays Sunday, July 13, 18, 20, 26, 31 and Aug. 2. “The Three Musketeers” opens next Friday and plays July 12, 17, 19, 25, 27 and Aug. 1 and 3. No performance on Thursday, July 24. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 6 p.m. on Sundays. Box office opens two hours and gates open 90 minutes before the performances.
Where: William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in Land Park, Sacramento
Cost: $15-$18, children ages 6 to 12 free. Children under 6 are not admitted. Parking is $2 per car.
Information: (916) 558-2228, or www.sacramentoshakespeare.net
Davis Shakespeare Festival
Enterprising young theater-makers the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble enter its fifth year and up the ante by adding a couple of seasoned pros to the repertory mix. The highly regarded Matt K. Miller and newcomer Matt Edwards, who has some New York credits on his résumé, are both on hand to bolster the casts as the fest moves to a new performance space at Veterans Memorial Theatre. The shows are “Much Ado About Nothing” and the musical adaptation of Ernst Lubistch’s great film “The Shop Around the Corner,” “She Loves Me,” by Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays through Aug. 3. Specific show dates and times online.
Where: Veterans Memorial Theatre, 203 E. 14th St., Davis
Cost: $18-$20; $15 for children 12 and under
(530) 802-0998 or www.shakespearedavis.org
Fair Oaks Theatre Festival
The popular long-running festival presents several shows for all ages.
• For the adult crowd, the ’50s sci-fi spoof “The Brain From Planet X” runs until July 20; the loving homage to musical theater “The Drowsy Chaperone” from Aug. 8 to Sept. 7; and the community showcase “The Best of Broadway,” Sept. 12-28.
Where: Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre, 7991 California Ave., Fair Oaks, 95628
When: Performances are Fridays-Sundays, starting at 8:30 p.m. for “Brain From Planet X,” at 8 p.m. for “The Drowsy Chaperone” and at 7:30 p.m. for “The Best of Broadway.”
Cost: Tickets $6-$18
• The festival’s children’s show is “Rumpelstiltskin,” the original John Lee version of the fairy tale re-imagined for kids and adults.
When: 10 a.m. and noon Saturday and July 12, 19 and 26
Where: Fair Oaks Community Clubhouse, 7997 California Ave., Fair Oaks
Information: (916) 966-3683, www.fairoakstheatrefestival.com
Main Street Theatre Works
Moliere’s “Tartuffe” continues through July 19, and after that there’s even more of the French satirist with “The Golden State,” Lauren Wilson’s adaptation of Moliere’s “The Miser” Aug. 8-Sept. 6.
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre, Jackson; access is from North Main Street adjacent to Country Squire Motel, 1105 N. Main St.
Cost: $12-$17.50; $49 family package (two general, two students)
Information: (209) 295-4499 or go to www.mstw.org
Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival
Edward Morgan directs “As You Like It” at the splendid amphitheater on the lake shore at Sand Harbor State Park.
When: July 11-Aug. 24; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays
Where: Sand Harbor State Park, Incline Village, Nev.
Information: (800) 747-4697, www.laketahoeshakespeare.com
California Shakespeare Festival
Artistic director Jonathan Moscone leads this Bay Area theater, which continues gaining national notice. “The Comedy of Errors” through July 20, George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion” July 30-Aug. 24, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Sept. 3-28.
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; select Saturdays at 2 p.m.; and 4 p.m. Sundays. Grounds open for picnicking two hours before curtain.
Where: Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way (formerly 100 Gateway Blvd.), Orinda
Information: (510) 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
The expansive theater in Ashland, Ore., rotates three shows in repertory at its outdoor venue, the Elizabethan Stage/Allen Pavilion. “Into the Woods” through Oct. 11, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” through Oct. 12, “Richard III” through Oct. 10. Other shows of interest include the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama “Water by the Spoonful” by Quiara Alegría Hudes in the Thomas Theatre, Sept. 4-Nov. 2; the world premiere of “The Great Society” by Robert Schenkkan July 23-Nov. 1, in the Angus Bowmer Theatre; “The Tempest” directed by Tony Taccone through Nov. 2 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre.
When: Schedules vary
Where: 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland, Ore.
Information: (541) 482-4331, www.osfashland.org
San Francisco Mime Troupe
The legendary San Francisco political satirists make their annual summer pilgrimage to Sacramento in the newest play, “Ripple Effect,” in which four modern workers confront the vanishing American Dream in true city-by-the-Bay style.
Where: Southside Park, 2115 Sixth St., Sacramento
When: 4 p.m. Aug. 2-3
Cost: Free; donations requested
Information: (415) 285-1717; www.sfmt.org
Call The Bee’s Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120.