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The Independent

July 18, 2019

Free Shakespeare in the Park Presents 'As You Like It'

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Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2019 12:00 am

The award-winning San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will be in Pleasanton for two more weekends of open-air performances of William Shakespeare’s juicy comedy-turned-musical “As You Like It: a new musical.” This full-scale, fully staged and costumed production is appropriate for all ages. Show times: 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, July 6 through July 14.

Celebrating their 37th season, the Festival presents an original musical featuring songs by duo Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses, the Bay Area writing team known for powerful story-telling indie rock. In addition, Festival Resident Artist Phil Wong contributes several original numbers. Director for this production is SF Shakes Artistic Director Rebecca J. Ennals. Music direction is by Brenden Getzell, costume design by Susan Szegda, set design by Neal Ormond, fight choreography by Sydney Schwindt, and lighting design by John Bernard.

Opening scene: In the Court of a near-future city, we meet Orlando, busking on the street, along with his servant-buddy Adam. Enter Oliver, brother to Orlando, a ruthless politician returning from a business trip. He is embarrassed by his brother’s performance and the two argue. Orlando accuses his brother of treating him badly and demands his share of the family inheritance. They brawl briefly. Orlando proves the better fighter, but he backs off and skedaddles. Oliver then conspires with Duke Frederick’s champion wrestler, Charles the Lioness, to kill Orlando when they next meet in the ring… And it begins, as they say. There are healthy doses of intrigue, narrow escapes, forest trysts, love and mistaken identities (so Shakespeare).

All shows are free to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. Pleasanton’s Amador Valley Community Park is located at the intersection of Santa Rita Road and Black Avenue. Free parking is available in the lots on Black Avenue surrounding the Aquatic and Community Centers. The company suggests arriving early for prime vantage points, and all are welcome to bring picnics, beverages, blankets, and low chairs no more than 6 inches off the ground if desired. Tall chairs are permitted as indicated by signage, and ADA accessible restrooms are on site.

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