Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare on the Common
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Shakespeare on the Common

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's Free Shakespeare on the Common is one of Greater Boston's favorite traditions.

Returning for the 18th annual season, the company presents the comedy The Gentlemen of Verona, July 6-28 on the Boston Common.

The play tells the tale of two friends who leaver their hometown of Verona to find their happy fortunes in Milan. But instead, they find temptation, trickery and trouble as they compete for the favor of the high-society Duke and his debutante daughter.

All are drawn into a web of disguises and secrecy, where the last thing anyone wants is for the truth to surface -- least of all the dog.

Inspired by Rat Pack-era Vegas -- the glamour, hedonism and morning after agonies -- the production brings new meaning to the line "what happens in Milan, stays in Milan."

CSC artistic director Steven Maler directs and is joined by Beowulf Boritt, who designed the set; Nancy Leary, costume designer and J. Hagenbuckle, sound design.

Free and open to the public. For reserved lawn chairs and more info on the production, visit www.commshakes.org.

On the marquee

  • FREE FUN FOR KIDS: The Lowell Summer Music Series kicks off its popular Free Fun for Kids series at Boarding House Park on Wednesday, July 10, with Curious Creatures, a hands-on, interactive animal show for all ages. Other shows in the series include musician Ben Rudnick and Friends, Thursday, July 11; reggae and South American rhythms from Mariana Iranzi, Wednesday, July 17; magician Bonaparte, Thursday, July 18: Rolie Polie Guacamole, Wednesday, July 31; Funiki Jam, Thursday, Aug. 1; Yo-Yo People, Wednesday, Aug. 7; Marcus Gale, Thursday, Aug. 8; Peter Panic Juggler, Wednesday, Aug. 14; The Aireborne Comedians, Thursday, Aug. 15. All shows at 11 a.m. Rain location at the Cyrus Irish Auditorium at Lowell High School. Before the show, enjoy make-and-take art at 10 a.m. and fun snacks. Following the show, the Lowell National Historical Park trolley is available for free rides. Visit www.lowellsummermusic.org for more info.
  • HOT SUMMER FUN: Girl groups like The Ronettes and The Marvellettes were a big part of growing up in the '50s and '60s. This summer, Stoneham Theatre, Main Street, Stoneham, pays tribute to those groups and that time with The Marvelous Wonderettes.
    The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Stoneham Theatre
    The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Stoneham Theatre
    Running July 5-28, it features such girl group hits as "Mr. Sandman," "Lollipop," "It's My Party," "It's In His Kiss" and "Respect." Visit www.stonehamtheatre.org for tickets and info.

Nancye Tuttle's email is nancyedt@verizon.net.