Best Place to Get the Shakes

Livermore Shakespeare Festival

It's a shame that William Shakespeare so often finds his way to classrooms and stuffy auditoriums where he's dissected and lifelessly regurgitated. The Elizabethan tongue should flow unbridled through the air, and hey, if that air happens to be in a vineyard on a summer night, who's to argue? In its tenth year this year, the festival at the Concannon Vineyard features two plays that celebrate the quirks of love. The uncontrolled passion of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (through August 7) fits nicely with the venue's hot inland summer. While the Montague and Capulet families struggle with new love, The Real Thing (through July 31) by Tom Stoppard takes a stab at lasting love. The Tony Award-winning play within a play examines the role loyalty, betrayal, and crudités serve in keeping a couple together. With a pair of blankets and glasses of wine, you can enjoy the bard à la fresco — full of life, free of homework.

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