We finally made it to the Independent Shakespeare Co.'s free Shakespeare in Griffith Park (on the grounds of the old zoo, next to Shane's Inspiration park) last weekend, in time to see one of the final performances of "Much Ado About Nothing."
The free Shakespeare in Griffith Park has taken place since 2004. The "Much Ado" adaptation, set in 1945, was well-done, with sharp performances, some musical interludes and playful use of the audience. We brought along a picnic, and although it was a bit too long for the kids (thank goodness we had our phones for them to play with when they got antsy), I'm glad we got there. And best of all, of course, is it's free! (Donations, of course, are encouraged.)
Now it's your turn. The final performances of the summer are this weekend: "Romeo and Juliet" tonight and Sunday, plus Symphony in the Glen on Saturday. Details on "Romeo and Juliet":
Adolescent bliss spins out of control in this imaginative staging of the most famous love story ever told. This new adaptation incorporates an original rock score and design that is equal parts fairy tale and punk. A live band and athletic performances create a Romeo and Juliet that explodes off the Griffith Park stage.
More details about the organization:
ISC relocated to Los Angeles in 2001, producing several productions in small venues. In 2003, we partnered with the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles to produce Free Shakespeare in Barnsdall Park. The first performance of the outdoor, free festival was attended by 14 people and a dog. By 2009, the summer festival performed for nearly 12,000 patrons, outgrowing Barnsdall Park.
2010 marked the start of a new chapter in our history: the summer festival moved to Griffith Park. It’s an ideal spot. It’s truly the park that’s for all Los Angeles, our stage is built in the gently sloping natural amphitheater of the Old Zoo, and the nights are peaceful. The 2014 season was our most successful yet: we performed for more than 43,000 people. The Festival has grown to include more than Shakespeare performances. Audiences enjoy pre-show performances by a variety of local artists, we host the Salon Series (conversations about the intersection of Shakespeare and contemporary culture), and families can attend pre-show workshops about the plays. All of our summer events are entirely free.
Go here for more information.