Huzzah: Free Shakespeare in the Park | NBC Southern California

Huzzah: Free Shakespeare in the Park

"Twelfth Night" and "Shrew" forsooth-up the Old Zoo.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Grettel Cortes
    Free Shakespeare in the Park? It's a summer tradition, at Griffith Park's Old Zoo, courtesy of the Independent Shakespeare Co.

    The "term" free is often attached to summertime doings, but it doesn't always mean what we think it means. (Read that as grumpily as possible, if you will.)

    A happening might be described as "free-spirited" or "stress-free" or "free and easy" but is it free-free, as in pay-no-money free? 

    Very often not.

    One summertime staple that stands by the notion of free-free in full-chested, dramatic-fancy glory? The outdoor presentations of the Independent Shakespeare Co., which stages a revolving program of Bard-sweet plays at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park.

    Stages the program, for free. As in keep your wallet closed. Just snap it shut. We'll wait.

    Well, not too shut: They sell food on the grounds, or you can haul in a picnic, if you choose.

    Weekend #1 for the warm-weather favorite is the last weekend of June, as is tradition, but the plays presented won't be presented in a traditional manner, as is tradition.

    Perhaps you've heard of them? "Twelfth Night" and "The Taming of the Shrew"? Yeah, you have. Every romcom made after "Shrew" owes it a debt, or at least a thank-you in the credits.

    Other ye olde musicale delights and such festoon the beneath-the-trees evenings like so many ribbons in a maiden's braids.

    The shows tandem-out the summer through the last day of August, with a few nights off per week, so calendar-up ye lyfe before turning your carriage for Griffith.

    And give thanks for a summertime freebie that is a) truly free b) cheeky as all get-out c) while being faithful to Shakespeare's spirit and d) absolutely free.

    There's no rule that a) and d) can't be the same, right? Good. Just like there's no real rule in reinterpreting the Bard for new eras, new costumes, new places, new vibes...

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