‘Irma Vep’, an anagram for ‘vampire’ opens at Cal Shakes Saturday night with Danny Scheie and Liam Vincent, the two comic Shakespearean actors playing each and every part with 35 corresponding costume changes. Jon Moscone directs Charles Ludlam’s vehicle, the high camp and light hearted romp in a haunted English mansion. It’s not only a fond farewell by the beloved and fearless leader but also a fitting tribute. Jon Moscone bid adieu to Cal Shakes for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts a few weeks ago and if he returns to his old haunt to direct in the future remains to be seen.
‘Irma Vep’ will be a star vehicle for the madcap spectre of Scheie who guarantees laughter with his preposterous deliveries. Moscone continues a gender bending cross dressing season as his dynamic duo of clowns will be satirizing not only gender and gender bending but also certain mysteries including one Cal Shakes staged in 2012, Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’. By the looks of the advance pix Moscone also spoofs Cal Shakes picnic format with the characters carrying a big wicker basket. Cal Shakes after this comic relief ends September 6 goes dramatic and Shakespearean for it’s summer finale ‘King Lear’.
Meanwhile the summer warmth should make tomorrow evening intoxicating and special attractions include an ‘Irma Vep’ camper night, tasting nights, meet the artists event and matinees. The evening should be perfect for a long and relaxed picnic in the eucalyptus grove of Bruns Memorial Amphitheater in the Orinda foothills. The theater opens two hours before curtain, plenty of time to spread out the picnic and share the wine and smell the eucalyptus trees from which strings of lights brighten the grove.
Related: New dating and social club called Stitch.net launched in SF for over 50 set
Discover the upper grove, which seems to be almost secret with art installations and a view of the naturally landscaped roof of the cafe and new bar. Cal Shakes will run guests and picnic baskets up the hill in a golf cart driven by a volunteer. The cafe serves up great entrees as well as new adult bevies and opening night guests enjoy a post-show party with a tasty buffet usually in keeping with the evening’s theme.
Tickets run from $15 standing room to $84 premium. Cal Shakes offers first come first served tickets for $20 and many types of discounts, including student, senior and military discounts and group discounts. Cal Shakes offers a complimentary shuttle from Orinda BART and complimentary parking at the theater. Drivers should see the Cal Shakes sign at the exit near the Caldecott Tunnel.
For more information: Cal Shakes