Entertainment: Get lit

Find a shady spot and kick it with some bookish fun

Browsing at Big Brother Comics can lead to plenty of fun.

Browsing at Big Brother Comics can lead to plenty of fun.

Photo By Shoka

Sacramento Shakespeare Festival
Sometimes saving money is only half the fun, and that’s the case with the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, where two plays from the Bard of Avon are produced in repertory in the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre at Land Park. Pack a picnic—you can go all Martha Stewart or just throw some PB&Js and Twinkies into a brown bag. Bring lawn chairs. Don’t forget the mosquito repellant and a blanket to ward off the chill after the sun goes down. Oh, and kids between 6 and 12? They’re free, which makes this a fantastic way to introduce your young’uns to the foundation of Western theater (but don’t bring the babies—no kids under 6). This year, The Tempest and Twelfth Night make up the program. Even if you don’t do a picnic dinner, be sure and get there early; seats are first-come, first-served, and the troupe usually has a bit of light entertainment before the sun sets and the play begins. Thursday-Sunday, 8 p.m.; from July 5-August 3; $15-$18. William A. Carroll Amphitheatre in Land Park, (916) 558-2228, www.sacramentoshakespeare.net.

Sacramento Poetry Center readings
It’s not about just getting out of the house; it’s about getting out of the house and doing something to ease your soul and tease your mind. At least, that’s what we’ve found when it comes to poetry readings, and the Sacramento Poetry Center has a summer lineup of Monday evening readings (only partially filled in at press time) that will certainly strike sparks and quite possibly ignite fireworks. Start with the Summer Solstice Reading on June 16, sure to set the mood, and don’t miss the Asian Poetry Reading on July 7. SPC events are listed monthly in their online calendar, as well as other poetry events throughout the community, and many are free. Sacramento Poetry Center Monday Readings, call for specific times. HQ for the Arts, 1719 25th Street; www.sacramentopoetrycenter.org.

The Book Collector
Yes, it’s a small space, and sometimes it can get a little warm during the readings. Nonetheless, The Book Collector is Sacramento’s ground zero for local poets. It’s home base for Rattlesnake Press, with monthly chapbook release parties that include such local lights as Ann Menebroker and Shawn Pittard, as well as the (in)famous B.L. Kennedy. And owners Richard and Rachel Hansen worship the word—seriously, they probably have an altar—oh, wait! It’s an entire store! Don’t miss the delightful Poems-For-All, tiny but artful pocket-sized keepsakes chock-full o’ poems. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m., plus special events. The Book Collector, 1008 24th Street; (916) 442-9295.

Big Brother Comics
Every Saturday, the fans of Magic: The Gathering gather for at least one round of this addictive card and fantasy game at Big Brother. Then there’s the neat mix of new single issues and trade paper collections—this is where we learned to love Fables, where we met Brian K. Vaughan (and began to follow the adventures of Yorick, the last man on Earth), where we stop in regularly for the latest Joss Whedon-penned episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight. The folks at Big Brother know their stuff, and for the short-on-cash types, they buy and sell used trade books. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Big Brother Comics, 1722 J Street; (916) 441-6461.