Shakespeare Orange County Opens Season with Richard III

Shakespeare Orange County opens their twenty first season with Richard III in their Garden Grove open air Festival Amphitheatre July 19 – August 4. Returning this year are John Walcutt as Richard, Evelyn Carol Case as Queen Elizabeth and Amanda Zarr as Lady Anne. Veteran company member Carl Reggiardo directs this production.

Reggiardo compares the character of Richard to the ultimate example of the ‘Killer King,’ or the ‘Poisoned Prince.’ “He lets nothing and no one stand in the way of his quest for power,” says Reggiardo. Richard III abounds with themes of family vs. family, father vs. son, and the end of a series of Civil Wars (War of the Roses) and their ‘crippling’ effects on English society.

According to director Reggiardo, “Audiences may expect dark tragedy, but this play is really very funny, full of sarcastic, macabre humor. In distributing bloodshed to family members and the royal family, Richard really wants you to enjoy him going through the manipulations and plotting to kill as many people as he can…And if you don’t enjoy Richard’s actions, he would certainly be disappointed.”

Following performances at this year’s internationally acclaimed Praha Fringe Festival in the Czech Republic, SOC will present Shakespeare’s romantic and highly erotic poem. Venus and Adonis for two performances only on August 10 & 11. Venus and Adonis is a stunning, wry, poignant, erotic poem laden with theatricality, irony, passion and pathos. The production features Evelyn Carol Case, Michael Nehring, Michael D. Fountain, Misha Bouvion, Alyssa Bradac and Amanda Zarr. Thomas F. Bradac directs.

Concluding the season is one of the bard’s most recognized comedies about love and romance, Much Ado About Nothing, featuring Michael Nehring as Benedick, and Evelyn Carol Case as Beatrice. It’s a battle of the sexes with capers, carrying on, and scheming like you’ve never seen before. The production runs August 16-September 1.

Tickets for Shakespeare Orange County performances are $34.00 (reserved seating) with $32.00 pricing for students/seniors. All Thursday performances are “Pay What You Will,” where payment is at the discretion of the audience member. Season tickets may currently be purchased online at www.shakespeareoc.org or at the box office from 3-6 pm. The Festival Amphitheatre is located in Euclid Park, 12762 Main St., Garden Grove, CA. 92840.

Performances for all SOC productions begin at 8:15 p.m. A special green show will be presented nightly at 7:30 p.m. for performances of Richard III and Much Ado About Nothing, and free pre-performance discussions with Dr. Kent Lehnhoff will be conducted on July 28 & August 4 at 7 pm. Picnic areas are available. For more information, call the Box Office at (714) 590-1575.

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