The Japanese Garden, located on the grounds of the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, is one of LA’s hidden gems – a serene reprieve from the hustle and gridlock that characterize West LA. The lush trees and greenery provide the perfect backdrop for Shakespeare’s romantic comedy As You Like It, which debuted last week for a limited run. Produced by the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles under the artistic direction of Ben Donenberg, families can enjoy the classic Shakespearean work under the stars in an intimate, idyllic setting.

Despite the fact that the play is set in modern day Los Angeles, it is still authentically Shakespeare complete with the famous monologue that begins with the phrase “All the world’s a stage.”

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The play details the comedic love story of Orlando and Rosalind, who, along with a host of other characters, retreat to the Forest of Arden to discuss matters of social class, politics, and love. With live musical performances and a professional, accomplished cast, As You Like It is a joyful foray into the world of Shakespeare.

The gardens open at 6:30 pm, so bring the family, a blanket, and a picnic basket and make it a memorable evening. Parking is free and at present, you can save 10% on tickets by visiting their website.

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Performances Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 pm through July 29.
Run Time: 2 hours 30 minutes with a 10 minute intermission.
Tickets: $25 (Side) $40 (Cener) $50 (Premium)

See artistic director Ben Donenberg and actor Michael Dorn on KCAL 9 discussing the show here.

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Caryn Bailey publishes the blog Rockin’ Mama.