Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Fest offers variety of performances |

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Fest offers variety of performances

Bonanza Photo - Mike ThompsonDonald Mackay and Gina Daniels as The Duke and Isabella in the dress rehearsal Shakespeare production of "Measure for Measure."

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; A nun propositioned to trade her virginity for her brother’s life.

A woman who fakes her death to measure how much her fiance loves her.

No, they’re not the plots of two new shows for HBO. They’re the plots of the two plays to be performed this summer for the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

With sassy female characters and two very different romantic relationships to keep track of, the audience will be enthralled by the witty dialogue and modern setting of and#8220;Much Ado About Nothing,and#8221; said director Fontaine Syer.

and#8220;It is very much a play about the value and the emergence of sassy women,and#8221; Syer said.

The production is set in the late 1940s and early 1950s in Messina, a coastal settlement on the island of Sicily, Italy. Syer said she picked the time period with Katharine Hepburn as an inspiration.

and#8220;There is not a direct correlation, but we have this independent minded very sassy woman who is not willing to be second fiddle to anyone at anytime,and#8221; Syer said.

The romantic comedy centers around a pair of lovers named Claudio and Hero who are due to be married in a week. While waiting for their wedding day, they conspire with Don Pedro, the prince of Aragon, to trick their friends, Beatrice and Benedick, into confessing their love for one another.

However the prince’s illegitimate brother, Don John, becomes jealous of Don Pedro’s power and his affection for Claudio and plans to sabotage the coming wedding.

Love at any age is a theme of the performance, Syer said.

and#8220;There is the underlying awareness that for Beatrice and Benedick this is the last chance for both of them,and#8221; Syer said.

Considered one of William Shakespeare’s problem plays, and#8220;Measure for Measureand#8221; defies categorization as a drama or a comedy.

and#8220;This play is the most modern of all Shakespeare’s plays,and#8221; said director Carole Healey. and#8220;The play is complex and it’s not tied up in a bow at the end. It’s more like our lives now.and#8221;

Set in Vienna, the play follows Duke Vincentio as he appoints his stern deputy, Angelo, to restore the peace in a society overrun by brothels, opportunists and moralists.

But when the virtuous and beautiful nun Isabella comes to Angelo to plead for her brother’s life, Angelo must face up to the vices he abhors.

and#8220;So many of the romantics were concerned with the same sort of themes,and#8221; Healey said. and#8220;The idea of the most primal self and#8212; our urges to have sex, to eat, to have power and#8212; versus our more spiritual and higher self. Shakespeare talks about finding that balance between our selves and our community.and#8221;

Shakespeare’s Kitchen, the festival’s food and beverage provider by Brimm’s Catering, is located inside the theater gates.

Offerings include a medley of complete dinners, vegetarian entrees, children’s portions and desserts.

A full service bar provides a selection of wines, ales, lagers, liqueurs and spirits, as well as specialty coffee and other hot drinks.

Meals can be pre-ordered at A menu is also available for download on the website.

Wine tasting is now offered prior to each performance.

Tickets are available online at laketa hoeshakespeare. com or by phone at 800-747-SHOWS (800-747-4697).

The season begins July 11. The plays rotate performance nights Tuesday through Sunday nights through Aug. 23.

Tickets range from $22 for upper gallery seating to $72 for premium reserved seating. Festival gates open at 5:30 p.m. for all seating sections with a nightly curtain call at 7:30 p.m.

Purchase tickets online for 10 per cent off for three or more tickets pur chased and also receive reduced han dling fees for all online purchases.

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