The problem is squeezing in all the good entertainment that's out there this weekend. First, there's the delightful comedy "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" at the Brewery's Outdoor Stage in the parking lot of Performance Hall (511 W. King St.). Performed by Brewery's Summer Stock Theater, three pro actors " Rich Garrett, Jason Macy and Jim Godwin " race through two hours of wacky Shakespeare with a bewildering change of costume. The last half of which is all about "Hamlet," the prince of Denmark. This is not the Hamlet we all know, but a prince of a different humor.
There's no way to capture the mirth and merry way these three race through The Bard, except to say that their rap take on "Othello" is a gem, complete with fancy footwork. Godwin is princely, Macy is off the wall and Garrett is a wavering anchor for it all.
The sound system is professional and the words are clear if a little out of sync with normal speech. No need to study up before seeing this wonderfully wacky show. Karen Chandler (also appearing in "Smokey Joe's Cafe") directs this mix of slapstick and pratfalls, and Andie Anderson manages all the quick costume changes. It plays the next two Sunday nights at the Outdoor Stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are a steal at $12 general admission and $10 for students and seniors at the gate. Food, beverages and a raffle are included. If comedy is your bag, this is a show not to be missed. Besides, the fencing scenes are very professional and realistic.
'SMOKEY JOE' ROCKS ON
"Smokey Joe's Cafe" plays Friday and Aug. 2, 7, 8 and 9 alternating with "Works," offering 39 songs by Leiber and Stoller. In the cast are Susan Sonnemaker, Garrett, Andy Sonnemaker, Chandler, Steven Meyer, Therese Curatolo, Domenic Procaccini II and Andie Anderson. Susan Sonnemaker is the musical director and Tony DeGeiso the stage director.
The music is a big hunk of Americana, everything from "Jailhouse Rock" to rock ballads. Tickets are $15 general admission, $3 off for Brewery members, seniors and students. Fine music for a summer's evening.
MORE SHAKESPEARE AT THE LAKE
The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival continues to dazzle, with "Midsummer Night's Dream" alternating at Sand Harbor with "Richard III" and a decidedly non-Shakespearean entry, "CAMBIO."
The off-beat show "CAMBIO" is the unlikely melding of Victor Hugo's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" and contemporary Cuba. It plays on Monday nights, at 7:30 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30.
"CAMBIO" is an original musical love story set in modern day Havana and is about change happening today in revolutionary Cuba. Co-written by Festival Artistic Director Jan Powell and Portland, Ore., playwright Carol Dane, "CAMBIO" makes its debut at this year's festival.
New York musician Omar Alexander and his band Soulare are joining the cast of "CAMBIO." The band infuses a new dimension of musical energy and excitement to the production, combining a dynamic blend of Latin, world beat, contemporary funk and soul rhythms with English and Spanish lyrics. Individually, members of Soulare have shared stages and studios with a host of salsa, rock, jazz, Latin and R&B greats including Bruce Springsteen, Maceo Parker, Gloria Estefan and Norah Jones.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" rotates nightly Tuesday through Sunday with "Richard III." Check the Web site below.
Tickets are available at www.LakeTahoeShakespeare.com or by calling (888-327-4697). Tickets start at $22 for open seating tiers and range in options up to the premier reserved seating section from $67.
Then there's a version of "The Tempest" by the Nevada Shakespeare Company and the Gold Hill Theater Troupe that takes a leaf from "The Complete Works" by mixing in all kinds of pop culture. Most of the words of "The Tempest (kinda)" are The Bard's, happily. It plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday; also Aug. 8 and 9 at the Gold Hill Hotel. Ticket ranges are $15 to $30 at 847-0111.
UPDATES AT NEVADAAPPEAL.COM
Couldn't get all the good things going on around town for the weekend in the column so check our Web site Friday for a complete list of fun out there.
- Contact Sam Bauman at Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1236.