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House of Joy Staff Pick

When: Aug. 14-18, Aug. 20-25 and Aug. 27-Sept. 1 2019
There’s always mirth, mystery, and plenty of movement during a performance in the big, outdoor theater house that is Cal Shakes’ main stage in Orinda. With the third production this season, there’s also abundant joy. House of Joy by Madhuri Shekar dives into the riveting history of a royal family wrenched and nearly ruined by civil war. Shekar’s revisionist, swashbuckling play, set in a 17th century Imperial Harem in a place somewhat like Delhi, India, is gender-bending, immensely funny, and timely. Reminding us that while we battle the demons of today and anticipate the enemies of tomorrow, brave women — and men and people who identify as LGBTQ and others — have ventured before us into the fray. They won the fight for good, maybe we can too.
— Lou Fancher

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