Pericles is not one of the oft-produced plays in the Shakespeare canon. It has a dingy reputation compared to some of his other works, and scholars argue that parts of it werent even written by the Bard. Whoever did write Pericles took a kitchen-sink approach to the plot: theres incest, riddles, pirates, fishermen, brothels, assassins, sea storms, ethereal visions, magicians, and at least one zombie. But you dont necessarily attend Shakespeare in the park with a critical eye and a copy of Harold Bloom tucked under your arm. You go because of the novelty of watching a play outdoors. And what better setting than this one? Presented in the evening, the production offers viewers a panorama of the bay, the bridge, the sparkling lights of Marin, and a wall of trees. (Never mind the parking lot and squat, brick buildings.) Director Kenneth Kelleher seems to have embraced the chaos of the plays plot and set his production in the untamed Wild West, accompanied by bluegrass, folk, and country. The frontier setting bodes well for the brothel scenes at the very least.
Saturdays, Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Aug. 30. Continues through Sept. 21, 2008