Happy 101st Season, Mountain Play

The theater-in-nature presents "South Pacific."

WHEN YOU GO TO THE THEATER... how do you generally make your way to your seats? Do you swing by main doors, to get some usher assistance? Do you find the bar first and get a drink, the better to hydrate you as you roam the aisles? And do you scoot along plush-backed chairs, saying "sorry, sorry" to the people in your row, as you make your way to your designated spot? Yeah, that's not how things work at the Mountain Play, or mostly not, anyway. Rather, the outdoor and oh-so-venerable venue is all about making your way along dirt paths and under trees as you wend your nature-pretty way to where you'll eventually park it for the night. You are on Mount Tamalpais, after all, in Mill Valley, meaning that opera gloves and sateen shoes or the other elegant accouterments you might wear to the theater should remain in the closet. You're on an alfresco adventure, with theater at its leafy heart, a traditions that's been a Tamalpais staple for a century and a year. And the 101st season of the Mountain Play is ready to raise the proverbial curtain: "South Pacific" is the season's 2014 production.

DATES AND DETAILS: Men will be washed right out of various hair-dos and Bali Hai will be lovingly crooned about from Sunday, May 18 through Sunday, June 15. There are only a half dozen performances in all, so if this is a favorite musical, and you have a soft spot for theatrical companies that have sustained a century (in the great outdoors no less), get on those tickets. Three bits of good news: 1) Cushioned seating and reserved seating is available, so best pursue that route, if that sounds right for you and your rump. (That's the posh theatrical term, of course.) 2) Picnics are allowed and spirits permitted, so pack up your hamper before hightailing it up the trails. And 3? Each performance features special entertainment, from a kids & family day on May 18 to a military veterans' day on May 25 to the LGBT day on June 1. So prep those vittles and trek up the mountain for one of the region's most unique and beloved late springtime happenings. Yep, we trucked out "beloved" but Mountain Play has earned it.

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