“A man can die but once,” wrote William Shakespeare in “King Henry IV, Part II.” That’s true enough, but few among us can hope to have our one-and-only death remembered – or our lives and accomplishments celebrated – a full 400 years after the fact.
One can’t say the same about Shakespeare.
This weekend, to mark the 452nd anniversary of his birth, and the quadricentennial of his mysterious death, a number of Bard-themed events will be taking place around the North Bay. Some involve sonnets. And audience participation. After that, the Big Bad Bard Party will continue for the next several months, as the usual summertime Shakespeare events all roll out once more, with an added dash of merriment and mirth in keeping with such an auspicious commemoration.
Over at the Napa Valley Opera House (1030 Main St., Napa), NapaShakes celebrates the big 4-0-0 with a staging of Shakespeare’s wacky, rarely-performed fairytale-tragedy-adventure-romance “Cymbeline” (Friday, April 22, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 23, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.). Presented by New York’s acclaimed six-actor performance troupe Fiasco Theater, this stripped-down, music-filled “Cymbeline” tells one wild story. A plucky young princess escapes her wicked step-mother, teams up with a trio of folk-singing mountain men, and uses swords, songs, magic potions and secret disguises to save the man she loves from lies, deception and certain death.
Oh, and there’s a headless guy.
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