In this country, where many of us Baby Boomers fought for women's rights, a father controlling all aspects of his daughter's life -- especially whom she married -- would not be tolerated.
In Shakespeare's day, however, such actions were normal and expected. But whether a woman chooses a mate herself or her father decides on her husband, both can be fraught with dire consequences, as shown in Cal Shakes next play, "Romeo and Juliet."
Running through July 28, Shakespeare's well-known story of young love features Dan Clegg and Rebekah Brockman in the title roles. You might remember Clegg from Cal Shakes' "The Taming of the Shrew" or "The Verona Project," while Brockman was seen in last season's "Blithe Spirit."
Director Shana Cooper promises an inventive interpretation with a seven-member ensemble playing all the roles, crossing gender and doubling in surprising ways. While Clegg and Brockman have their hands full as Romeo and Juliet, Domenique Lozano takes on the Nurse and Lord Montague; Dan Hiatt is the Friar and Lord Capulet; Nick Gabriel portrays Tybalt and Paris; Arwen Anderson plays Benvolio and Lady Capulet; and Joseph Parks is Mercutio and the Apothecary.
"One of the things I love about this play is the extraordinary twists of tone," says Cooper. "The first half is flooded with these little miracles of joy, love and bawdy, bold humor that distract us from the raw, violent reality of the world. In the miracle of the young lovers' discovery of each other, we see love's capacity to transform us into our best selves."
For an evening under the stars at the beautiful Bruns Amphitheatre, call 510-548-9666 or go to www.calshakes.org.
In our high-tech world, it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the gadgets and special effects that seem to come at us from all sides. Offering the perfect respite from this overload, Under the Sun Studios presents two radio dramas. Instead of elaborate special effects and lighting, radio drama uses such decidedly low-tech alternatives as high-heel shoes hitting a hard surface for a horse trot, or a box of silverware and a container of sand for other sounds needed in a script. The strictly-audio medium relies on the vocal talents of the actors and the dexterity of those producing the sound effects. Imagine you could have a power outage and that the show could still go on!
Under the Sun Studios presents Bill Chessman's "Does it Bother You When I ... ?" and "Seven Fingers and Three Toes of Death" on July 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and on July 7 at 2 p.m. at 2956 Treat Blvd., Suite B, in Concord.
The first show tells of an intern working for the foremost brain researcher who begins to question his experiments. The second show follows the trials of a couple being chased by thugs. Tickets are $10 and available at the door right before performances.
The lights are still out at Orinda's Community Center Park Amphitheatre, so the Orinda Starlight Village Players have decided to postpone the second show of the season.
Construction on an adjoining property resulted in PG&E removing an electrical hub and relocating it. The construction of the new electrical connection is supposed to be completed by mid-July. Until then, the tennis courts, park pathways and the amphitheater remain dark. Starlight's artistic director Geotty Chapple plans to open the second show, "A Thurber Carnival," on Aug. 2. For more information, call 925-528-9225 or go to www.orsvp.org.
If you're in the mood for a classic musical with stunning views of the Bay, you can't do much better than Woodminster Amphitheater's production of "Annie Get Your Gun." This Irving Berlin favorite plays July 12- 21 in Oakland's Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road.
Just remember to take your eyes off the dazzling view long enough to enjoy Berlin's gorgeous music, sharpshooter Annie Oakley and all the colorful characters in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show. For tickets, call 510-531-9597 or go to www.woodminster.com.
The ever-popular "Beach Blanket Babylon" has added Tuesday evening performances during July. The world's longest-running musical revue features lots of pop culture satire with a high-energy cast. For tickets, call 415-421-4222 or go to www.beachblanketbabylon.com.
Contra Costa Civic Theatre (which is performing "La Cage Aux Folles" through July 21) announces auditions for "The Drowsy Chaperone" on July 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and July 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the theater, 951 Pomona Ave. in El Cerrito.
Daren A.C. Carollo directs, with Rick Wallace as choreographer and Michael Wiles as music director. The show runs Sept. 20-Oct. 20. For an audition appointment, email the artistic director at Marilyn@ccct.org.
Contact Sally Hogarty at email@example.com.