If you're looking for one last trip before summer's end, why not try Lake Tahoe? The crowds, especially on the north side, have usually thinned out, the weather is still great, and the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival will still be performing.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary season, the festival features "Two Gentlemen of Verona" through Aug. 26, at the beautiful Sand Harbor State Park, just south of Incline Village.
Director Charles Fee, producing artistic director, gives Shakespeare's theme of the faithless friend and lover a more contemporary twist with the addition of a blues/rock band whose members also take on roles in the play. The music becomes an integral part of the production.
Star Moxley's semi-modern costumes and Russell Metheny's chrome/colored glass set with its movable staircases and artistic trees giving a modern yet classic feel.
One of Shakespeare's early comedies, "Two Gentlemen of Verona" tells of Proteus (well portrayed by Jeffrey Hawkins) falling in love with Julia (a spunky Lee Stark) but being sent away by his father to join his best friend Valentine (a wonderful Neil Brookshire) in Milan.
But when Proteus finds Valentine, he falls for Valentine's betrothed Silvia (the striking Nika Ericson) and plots how to betray his friend, abandon Julia, and make Silvia his own. While everyone in the cast does a fine job, they can't help but be upstaged by the antics of Crab the Dog (Michael, a dewy-eyed
For tickets, call 800-74-SHOWS (800-747-4697) or go to www.laketahoeshakespeare.com.
Closer to home, the Orinda Starlight Village Players have chosen "Room Service," known more as a Marx Brothers film, that tells of a penniless producer struggling to get a backer for his play.
Gordon Miller (marvelously performed by Geotty Chapple) convinces his brother-in-law Joseph (the very funny Barry Hunau) to allow him and his cast to stay at his hotel on credit until a moneyman is found.
All is going well until the corporate office sends Gregory Wagner (well played by Mark Barry) to find out why the hotel isn't making any money and craziness ensues.
Director Chris Constantouros makes a fine debut with a well-rounded cast that seems to be having as much fun as the audience. Of special note are 12-year-old Natalie Chapin as the tap-dancing bellhop and Giuliana Karezis, who as the hotel manager's secretary, displays a lovely singing voice.
Kudos also go to Geotty Chapple for designing an impressive set. "Room Service" continues through Aug. 11, with performances at 8 p.m. Aug. 9, and at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 10-11, at the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheatre. Tickets are available at 925-528-9225 or www.orsvp.org.