September 20, 2012
This has long been a Bay Area tradition, and for many years was honored in a scrub oak grove off Route 37 near Sears Point. The faire is a spontaneous costume drama set in the 1600s, but seeded with professional actors, singers, and dancers. And what is it about that period that’s so compelling? It’s the mixture of high and low; courtly on the one hand; naughty on the other. It’s the pageantry and pomp, the easy class distinctions between wenches and ladies; knights and heathen. But at the faire, humor rules, even as some people go to enormous lengths to capture the look and spirit of the time.
But make no mistake: It’s very child-oriented. If you’ve never gone, it’s a must. And while they only encourage you to attempt a costume, you’ll find you have more fun if you make the effort. Even a small effort: A hat with a plume; leather boots of some kind; a billowy shirt. Think of a character in Shakespeare: Falstaff is always popular. And don’t forget to bow your head to passersby and say, “my lady.” A lot of bowing and scraping goes a long way. It’s stage theater on demand — literally. Music provided by Brass Farthing, and Kate Price on hammered dulcimer. Also, great food, games, dancing, a joust, and, of course, the queen and her courtiers. If you go with it, if you suspend disbelief, it is a great, great escape.
Read more about Much Ado About the Sebastopol Renaissace Faire. Sept. 22- 23, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (5 p.m. on Sun.), $5 -$18 advance ($2 more at the entrance).