Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
Topanga's beloved Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum turns 40 this year. A free open house on Saturday, May 4 celebrates its colorful history.
If we were in charge of the language that goes into ads and reviews, we'd put a firm moratorium on the words "best-kept secret."
What is that, really? If you love a place, and want to see it thrive, you don't try to keep it from people: You share, like mama told you to do.
And while LA is indeed a city of secrets, if only because we're all so often in our cars and not on foot, there is one place known by many that still feels special. Topanga Canyon's own Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is, in fact, living, growing, green proof that you can stay perfectly sized and community-oriented while not remaining a secret (because remaining a secret too often closes a beloved place).
The Theatricum Botanicum repertory company turns 40 this year -- Mr. Will Geer founded it in 1973, which is the year in which we all probably wish we could time-travel back to Topanga -- and it is still producing plays and concerts and doing all sorts of woodsy and whimsical things. Things that feel very much of the Canyon but appeal to those urbanites driving in for the afternoon for a little theatrical culture in a bucolic setting.
Nope, you don't need your Shakespeare tights, but you should love theater presented in a natural setting, funky productions, family activities, folk tunes, trees, and being in a "beautiful, natural outdoor sanctuary for the arts."
Did you know the Will Geer was here? And has been for four decades? If this is one of your best-kept secrets, share it now. Couldn't more people use a day outside in the wilder world with a little cultural enjoyment? We all win.