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BWW Southern California Shakespeare Spotlight: What To See in 2014

A Midsummer Night's Dream coming to The Broad

It's Shakespeare for the masses in 2014 as we celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth! In Southern California you'll find more productions and events than ever so mark your calendar now for a big year ahead.

L.A. Theatre Works kicks off its 2014 radio theatre series with The Comedy of Errors starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Hamish Linklater, and Emily Bergl. Ferguson and Linklater delighted audiences last summer as Shakespeare's Antipholus and Dromio twins in The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production in New York. See the hilarity in person January 30 - February 2 when The Comedy of Errors is performed and recorded at UCLA's James Bridges Theater for broadcast on public radio nationwide.

The Porters of Hellsgate begin their eighth season with Henry V, previewing on Valentine's Day at The Whitmore in North Hollywood. Artistic director, Charles Pasternak, will direct and play the title role, one he received rave reviews for last summer at Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Leon Russom also returns to The Porters following up his role as Gloucester in King Lear with one of Shakespeare's most famous narrators of all. I can hear "O for a Muse of fire..." now.

And as a side note - it's nice to see that Shakespeare Santa Cruz is finding support. It was quite a blow when UC Santa Cruz abruptly terminated its 32-year partnership with the company, but thanks to the Arts Council Santa Cruz County, they are currently fundraising for their 2014 season. You'll find the latest updates, as well as some terrific photos of previous productions, including Pasternak in Henry V, at

Something wicked this way comes on March 8th when A Noise Within ventures into the dark world of the Scottish play starring Elijah Alexander as Macbeth and Jules Willcox as Lady Macbeth. Both have appeared in previous ANW productions, Alexander in Don Juan and Willcox in last year's productions of Pericles, Prince of Tyre and Eurydice. For an in-depth, pre-show discussion of the play, make sure you attend the Wednesday, March 12 performance.

If you're in San Diego you can see Intrepid Shakespeare Company's Macbeth at the Clayton E Liggett Theatre on the campus of San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas. It previews on January 31 and officially opens February 2. Directed by Christy Yael-Cox, it will run through February 16.

Also in San Diego, artistic director Barry Edelstein will make his Old Globe directorial debut with Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale opening February 8th. This marks the first indoor Shakespeare production at the Globe in over a decade. The Old Globe's outdoor Summer Shakespeare Festival will include Othello, also directed by Edelstein, and Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Mark Lamos. Rather than running in repertory, each production will feature distinct scenery and casts, each with its own separate run. This is a return to the Globe's outdoor theater's producing structure of 1988 to 2003, under then-artistic director Jack O'Brien, and promises to create an immersive experience for audiences.

Two well-known out-of-town troupes will make appearances in Southern California this spring. On March 15, Aquila Theatre Company presents Twelfth Night as part of the Carpenter Performing Arts Center's Wit & Wisdom Series in Long Beach. Aquila will also offer a free master class for students and the community on the CSULB Campus in the afternoon. Click Here for more information and to RSVP, as class size is limited.

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Ellen Dostal In addition to being part of the west coast Broadway World team, Ellen also publishes two popular Southern California Theatre Blogs - Musicals in LA and Shakespeare in LA. An actress, singer and voiceover artist, she is also a producer with the Academy for New Musical Theatre, and works with the development of new musicals across the country.

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