'Tis Shakespeare season

SN&R previews the summer Shakespeare season

It’s summer: time for classic period comedies (set in picturesque eras)—some performed outdoors, some inside.

The Chautauqua Playhouse (5325 Engle Road, Suite 110 in Carmichael; www.cplayhouse.org) hosts the first Shakespeare show of the summer, a one-weekend stand of Twelfth Night, mounted by Quest Theaterworks of Nevada County. Director Trish Adair has picked a World War I-Downton Abbey setting. Performances are daily from Wednesday, June 18, through Saturday, June 21, at 8 p.m.; and also Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15.

The new Davis Shakespeare Festival, with two Actors’ Equity Association actors in prominent roles, begins on Thursday, June 26, and continues weekends through Sunday, August 3. It features several shows dealing with unlikely romances between lovers who tend to feud as often as they woo. The Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing is located in the California wine country during the 1940s, with swing-era music. The small musical She Loves Me (by the creators of Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret) is set in the 1930s. The professional actors are Matt K. Miller (featured in many Sacramento Theatre Company shows) and Matt Edwards (two Broadway shows and numerous Off Broadway productions). The venue is the Veterans Memorial Theatre, 203 E. 14th Street in Davis. Ticket prices vary. Visit www.shakespearedavis.org, or call (530) 802-0998 for more information.

And the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival (www.sacramentoshakespeare.net) presents Much Ado About Nothing (with another Downton Abbey setting) starting on Saturday, July 5, joined by The Three Musketeers on July 11. The outdoor venue is the William A. Carroll Amphitheatre (3901 Land Park Drive, next to Fairytale Town) in Sacramento’s William Land Park. Shows run on the weekends through August 3.