If wandering through the forest toward champagne, strawberries, and Shakespeare is your thing, good news: Twelfth Night at Theatre in the Woods opens this weekend. A guided summer trek through the redwoods, actors burst out of the brush at key spots to perform scenes of shipwreck and heartbreak. You end up at the main stage on seats carved out of the adjacent hillside watching Shakespearean poetry and snacking on the remains of your picnic lunch. (Note: bring a picnic lunch. Go on Sunday for the promised champagne and strawberries.)
Forget that college lit classes made you avoid Shakespeare like the plague. This month, the African-American Shakespeare Company draws the curtain on their 16th season with a soulful jazz revival of Twelfth Night. Boasting an original score by local jazz maestro Marcus Shelby, the oft-adapted Elizabethan comedy has gotten a modern makeover. The noir production travels back to San Francisco in the 1940s to recall tales of young love, loss, and mistaken identity, all to the sound of brass and big band. It’s the human condition wrapped up in one very sultry package.