July is always a bit of a downer for me. That’s because past the 4th of July, my summer vacation is more than half-way over.
Mid-July brings Shakespeare by the Sea, the annual performance by the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival at Carlin Park in Jupiter. Each year, they choose a play by the bard and give it their own spin. This year, they’re doing The Taming of the Shrew, and it’s set at the Kentucky Derby. Which has me shrugging my shoulders a bit, but I’m happy to go along for the ride.
The play is performed at the Seabreeze Amphitheatre across the street from the beach. Patrons of all ages are invited to bring picnic suppers, wine, blankets, and lawn chairs as they come to enjoy an evening of entertainment.
A couple of years ago, my folks were visiting along with my six-year-old niece, Lily, and I was so excited to take them to see Much Ado About Nothing. They were not convinced that Lily would be content to watch a Shakespeare play. But once we arrived and got settled, some of the actors came out and interacted with her. When the curtain went up, she was riveted.
The event runs for two consecutive long weekends and is free, with a suggested donation of $5 to cover their expenses. At last year’s performance of Hamlet, an actor performed a private sonnet in exchange for your donation.
I love everything about this video. The actor is spot-on, his young audience handles the one-on-one attention with aplomb, and you get the feel of sitting on the hillside waiting for the play to begin.
So tonight, we take our picnic and enjoy opening night of The Taming of the Shrew. I love this part of July!