Since George Bernard Shaw is one of the playwriting greats - and the only person ever awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar - you have to assume that his cocktail conversation would either veer toward fascinating or insufferable. Since we have no way of knowing for sure (he's been dead awhile, making a chat over brandy unlikely), check out Candida instead, getting the Cal Shakes treatment this month.
Written in 1898, Candida weaves around marital land mines when a young poet comes between a clergyman and his wife. Deftly navigating the tension and proper Victorian repression, Candida is a parlor comedy that skewers human nature on its tea fork. Boasting what The Wall Street Journal calls “one of the most beautiful outdoor performing spaces in America,” Cal Shakes is a nice opportunity to eat things in a eucalyptus grove and see some theater.
Through September 4. Bruns Ampitheatre, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda. Tickets are $35-66 at 510-548-9666 or calshakes.org.