Interspersing love songs with scenes from Shakespeare’s works, the actors of Festival Theater Ensemble and Elizabethan-era lute music of Doris Williams enchanted attendees of the Feb. 6 Triton Free Fridays events.
FTE’s Bruce De Les Dernier, who served as the evening’s narrator, opened “Much Ado About Love” with a reading from “Twelfth Night,” which was followed by Williams singing “O Mistress Mine” – also from the play.
Caitlin Papp and Nick Mandracchia then performed a scene as Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing.
Back and forth the night went, with interludes of a Shakespearian scene by FTE actors and one or two songs by Williams, all of which took guests on a journey of love, desire, passion and pain.
From “As You Like It” (Sabrina Porter-Parees, Josh Parees and Cristi Bocci as Phoebe, Silvius and Rosalind) to “The Tempest” (Jane Goldsmith and Robin De Les Dernier as Miranda and Ferdinand), and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Anna Julian and David A. Vega as Helena and Demetrius) to “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (James Tate as Berowne), scenes from six of Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the theater group, which performs at Full Circle Farms and the Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival.
Williams, also kept with the love theme, singing “Chi passa” – an Italian violoette by Azzialo – “Hark the Lark” from Cymbeline, “Farewell, Dear Love” from “Twelfth Night,” “Where The Bee Sucks There Suck I” from “The Tempest” and “Have You Seen But A White Lily Grow?” from Ben Johnson’s “The Devil is An Ass,” among other songs chosen with the intent to get the audience in the mood for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday.
The evening ended with Williams performing an original folk song, “Friends and Lovers.”
On Friday, Mar. 6, Triton Free Fridays will welcome the Gallowglasses, a Bay Area Celtic folk group, to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Performances are free and begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Triton Museum of Art, 1505 Warburton Ave. in Santa Clara. Visit www.tritonmuseum.org or www.santaclaraarts.org for additional information.