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Calshakes Does Noel Coward's "Private Lives"

If Lear or Macbeth haven’t compelled you to make the trek to Orinda to attend a California Shakespeare Company performance, Noel Coward’s Private Lives” may be a smooth entre; nothing can beat a warm breeze, a bottle of chilled chardonnay, a picnic and a comedy by a playwright whose style The New York Times once described as a combination of “cheek and chic, pose and poise.”

While Shakespeare’s players strut and fret upon the stage at the Bruns Amphitheater, Noel Coward’s will not so much strut and fret as spark and spar. In this 1930 comedy of manners, a divorced couple find themselves booked into adjoining honeymoon suites. Hilarity ensues.

Add to that the beatific bucolic scenery of Orinda’s pale mountains, pale ale and an evening breeze and the spell will be well cast.

After Saturday night’s opening, wine, tours, hors d’oeuvres and dramaturgs will provide value added content on special nights.

Check it out:

Tasting Nights
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Jul 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 & 29
Sample some of the Bay Area’s finest food and drink for free. Each of these special performances features tastings from one or two local purveyors. Follow on Twitter, to get the names of your performance’s Tastings vendors texted to you in advance.

Meet the Artists
Sundays, Jul 12 & 26, following the 4pm performance (approx. 7pm)
discuss the production with the cast. Takes place in the amphitheater. Free and open to the public – you need not be a ticket holder for that day’s performance to attend.

Behind the Scenes
Thursday, Jul 16
Share an intimate chat with actors from each production. The evening includes a backstage tour, hors d’oeuvres, wine, and a catered dinner before the show. Participants meet at 5:30pm in the North Star Grove.

InSight Matinees
Sunday, Jul 19
Performances followed by a conversation with the dramaturg exploring the world of the play. InSight takes place in the Bruns Amphitheater immediately following select 4pm Sunday matinee and is free and open to the public.