Opening: Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival | NBC Southern California

Opening: Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival

"Measure for Measure" and "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" are the 2017 presentations.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Opening: Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival
    Mike Ditz
    "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" will swing onto the Independent Shakespeare Company's alfresco calendar at the end of July. "Measure for Measure" opens the run on Saturday, June 24. (Pictured: Evan Lewis Smith as Proteus, Erika Soto as Julia, Patrick Batiste as Eglamour in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona")

    Even if you're not breaking out the "thithers" and the "noughts" and the "harks" and the "perchances" on a regular basis, you can easily grok to the language and meaning of a timeless play written by one William Shakespeare.

    Of course, you just might be exactly the sort of person who trucks out "anon" or "decree" on a daily basis, and, if so, we do doff our feathery cap to you.

    Either way, dear thither-loving people or those who refrain from thithering, best turn your gazes upon the Old Zoo area in Griffith Park, which will once again serve as the summery stage for free Shakespeare, nearly all summer long, from the Independent Shakespeare Co.'s talented cast of actors, creatives, and crew members.

    The feasts for eyes, ears, mind, and heart in 2017? A pair of the Bard's best: "Measure for Measure" starts the ye olde entertainmente off on Saturday, June 24, while "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" bows for the first time on Saturday, July 29.

    "Measure for Measure" is woven through with some weighty themes, including forgiveness and understanding, but overly sentimental it is not; prepare for "a dark comedy" that touches upon challenging situations that contemporary audiences surely recognize. 

    And this particular "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," also flush with buoyancy and humor, will incorporate rockabilly tunes, played live, and swing dancing, in its Griffith Park outing.

    Picnicking is tradition at summer, in-the-park Shakespeare plays, and so it shall be, again, at the Old Zoo, but do note that alcohol is not permitted, so best leave the wine behind at home. And there's a "no pets" rule, too, so bid your pup "fare thee well" for the evening before making for Griffith Park.

    Your pup, by the way, is always Shakespearean, thanks to his "ruff." His ruff? Okay then.

    If you can make a donation to the company, that would be a lovely and welcome thing. But if you just want to catch a play, under the stars, gratis-style, that's a-okay, too.

    Will "a-okay," and other modern terms, be viewed in several centuries in the way that we view "forsooth" and "huzzah" nowadays? Ponder that as you picnic, and the sun sets behind the hills of Griffith Park, and the free Shakespeare-penned play you've come to see begins.


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