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August brings free Shakespeare to Redwood City park

The Taming of the Shrew is under the stars in Redwood City in August.
The Taming of the Shrew is under the stars in Redwood City in August.
John Western

She’s the smartest person in the room who has to deal with a dippy sister and an ineffectual father. Enter the unconventional hero, a con man looking for a sweet deal but finding the love of his life.

Welcome to Padua, Italy, circa the Renaissance. It’s really downtown Redwood City where the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival will perform The Taming of the Shrew.

Part of the annual Shakespeare in the Park, the free performances will be held at the Sequoia High School Campus, 1201 Brewster Avenue in Redwood City at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 9, 16 and 23. Sunday shows will be held 4 p.m. on August 10, 17 and 24.

Probably one of William Shakespeare’s most romantic comedies, The Taming of Shrew has a feast of wit and outrageous physical comedy plenty of Shakespearean twists, hilarious clowns and ridiculous disguises, along with a subversive and challenging love story.

Picnics, blankets and lawn chairs and the whole family are welcomed and recommended as part of the theatre in the park experience.

A Green Show, a half hour before show time, is an introduction to the play.

Most scholars believe that The Taming of the Shrew was written between 1590 and 1592. The plot is sometimes considered controversial but the theme of two unwilling participants in love has appeared in the famous screwball comedies of the 1930’s and 1940’s and modern versions of the story periodically pop up on the small and large screen.

The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival began in 1983 with the debut production of The Tempest in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The mission of the Festival is to make the words and themes of Shakespeare accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, financial status, or level of education.

For more information about the Redwood City Shakespeare in the Park, visit www.RedwoodCityEvents.com. For more information about the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, visit www.sfshakes.org.