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.
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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