Sep 192015

By Sarah Amador

There still time to enjoy the summer—even if the trees have changed their color before summer is officially over. We live in a place where it’s easy to feed your mind and feed your soul. Here’s what I’ve done recently, and which I whole-heartedly recommend:

Aidan O'Reilly as Richard III at Marin Shakespeare Theater

Aidan O’Reilly as Richard III at Marin Shakespeare Theater

Feed your mind. . .with outdoor Shakespeare theater. It was only 75 degrees when the doors opened at dusk for Richard III at Forest Meadows Amphitheater in San Rafael. In the setting sun, Mount Tamalpais was rosy in the distance, and the trees surrounding the stage glowed. Everybody loves to hate a bad guy, and there’s no better bad guy than Richard III. Interestingly enough, just this year the king’s bones were moved from a parking lot (which was once a battlefield) and buried in the royal cemetery at Leicester Cathedral. There still exists a heated debate as to whether Richard III was bad or not, since his enemies, the Tudors, were the victors and wrote the history the way they saw fit.

The cast did a fantastic job, fully exploring the woe and terror experienced at the hands of a tyrant king. This play reminded me of how encapsulated we often are from the true horrors of this world, and of what it would be like to live in other counties where tyranny and war rule. Aidan O’Reilly was mesmerizing as Richard III, fully exploring the horror experienced at the hands of a tyrant murderer. However, along with the heartlessness, O’Reilly deftly delivered the dry wit of his character. He had us often laughing in the midst of his nefarious acts, exactly as Shakespeare intended. What’s more, because O’Reilly is blind in one eye, he had to memorize every step of the intricate fighting scenes. Kudos is due to fight director Richard Pallaziol. Robert Currier also did a terrific job directing this play. Elena Wright shone as Queen Elizabeth, especially during the lamenting of her sons’ murders. Her confusion in response to Richard III’s inhumanity was exceedingly believable. Richard III runs through September 27, 2015. Make sure to catch it before this villain slips away!

For more information or to book tickets, visit or call 415-499-4485. Forest Meadows Amphitheater is located at 890 Belle Avenue, Dominican University of California, in San Rafael. Parking is free.

Feed your soul. . .with a visit to the Sonoma Coast. The golden allure of our dramatic and romantic coast is what made me first fall in love with this area.

SpudPoint_pic-200x200Enjoy a sunset with a glass of wine or with your dog. I did this recently, and the experience brought back to mind all the other times I’ve watched the sunset at the estuary. One time my husband and I saw the setting sun turn into a rectangle as it slipped down the horizon. Our county boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. Some of my favorite dog-friendly beaches are Blind Beach, Portuguese Beach and Wright’s Beach. Go to Gourmet au Bay to enjoy award-winning wines, as well as to sample excellent local artisan cheese. For fresh seafood, visit the Tides Wharf Restaurant, Fisherman’s Cove, Fishetarian Fish Market or Spud Point Crab Company in Bodega Bay. All are situated near the water. Fisherman’s Cove, the Fishetarian and Spud Point Crab Company are dog-friendly. You can even kayak with your dog with WaterTreks EcoTours at the estuary. If you are like most Sonoma County adventurers, a dog is most always at your side. And just think of this, if your dog is by your side, and your soul is being nourished, then most likely, your dog’s soul is being nourished too.

Have fun, and enjoy the warm evenings while they are still here!

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