It's a good weekend for those whom George Bernard Shaw dubbed "Bardolators"--there's plenty of Shakespeare on tap. Enthusiasts need to act quickly, though, as it's the wrap-up weekend for the runs of all of the productions described below.
Southwest Shakespeare Company's production of As You Like It the Bard's romantic pastoral set in the Forest of Arden, wraps up with performances Thursday, April 15; Friday, April 16; and Saturday, April 17. Rosalind, the high-spirited heroine of this comedy, is so well-loved that children have been named after her. She disguises herself as a boy in order to follow her lover Orlando into unjust banishment in the Forest of Arden. There she finds a society living happily in exile under the likewise unjustly deposed Duke Senior. After a burst of plot in the opening acts, the play turns into a leisurely series of verbal set-pieces, the most famous being the "All the world's a stage" reflection by the self-aggrandizingly melancholic courtier Jaques, a sort of Elizabethan Gen-Xer.
Showtime is 8 p.m. nightly. Various pre- and postshow activities are planned. Tickets are $16, $13 for students and seniors. Mesa Amphitheatre, located at Center and University. 480-641-7039 (SSC), 480-644-2560 (Mesa Community Center Box Office), 480-503-5555 (Dillard's).
Down Tempe way, Actors' Renaissance Theatre wraps up its ambitious Valley of the Sun Shakespeare Festival. This year's bill includes Shakespeare's sophisticated romantic comedy Love's Labour's Lost; The Reduced Shakespeare Company's popular spoof The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare (abridged); and Tom Stoppard's acclaimed Arcadia at the Tempe Performing Arts Center, 132 East Sixth Street. The runs conclude with performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17; (Love's Labour's); 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15; 2 p.m. Saturday, April 17; and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18; (Compleat Works); and 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16; (Arcadia). Tickets are $10, $7 for students and seniors, through Dillard's; at the scene they're $12 and $9. Call 480-632-0409 or 480-503-5555.
--M. V. Moorhead