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July 17, 2023

Shakespeare in Clark Park returns with rock musical 'Two Gentlemen of Verona'

From July 26-30, enjoy free performances of the Tony Award-winning play and enter a raffle for picnic baskets filled with wine and cheese

Entertainment Theater
Clark Park Shakespeare 2023 Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Shakespeare in Clark Park returns this month with free performances of 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' from July 26-30.

Shakespeare in Clark Park makes its return to West Philadelphia next week with live performances of a rock musical adaptation of one of the bard's lesser-known comedies. 

The community theater group will perform "Two Gentlemen of Verona," the 1971 Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of Shakespeare's 1590s play "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," at 7 p.m. each night from Wednesday, July 26 through Sunday, July 30. The free shows will be held in the park's "bowl," located at 43rd Street and Chester Avenue. 

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"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" is one of Shakespeare's earliest known plays, focusing on friendship, infidelity and the power of love. Its characters are known for their complicated, often overlapping love lives and the jealousy, anguish and anger that come with them. 

The show mixes danceable pop, soul and rock music with Shakespeare's original storytelling and social commentary.  The show's artistic director, Shamus, told Broadway World that the production was chosen as a response to the "rising tide of hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ and other people."

West Philly Local reported that audiences can sing the final lines of the musical along with the performers: "I want to love me. You can't love another without loving yourself." 

This year, organizers are raffling off picnic baskets filled with wine, cheese, snacks and merchandise. Guests can sign up for the raffle in person or online using this form. One ticket is $10, three are $25, seven are $40 and 10 are $50. Those who are able to donate to support future productions can do so in person and online as well. 

Performances of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" are free to attend, though registration is encouraged in case organizers have to cancel due to inclement weather. 

Shakespeare in Clark Park: 'Two Gentlemen of Verona'

July 26-30, 2023
7 p.m. | Free
The Bowl in Clark Park
43rd Street and Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104