Hike Up a Mountain to See an Outdoor Play

Head up to Mt. Tamalpais State Park for this historic, stage-cool tradition.

THE PLAYS WE SEE? We check 'em off, one by one. We save our ticket stubs and our Playbills. We record how many times we got to take a seat for our favorite musical, and we note the famous dramas that we still have to catch live. But there are other cool things to "collect," in the world of the theater, and one category isn't about what's on the stage, but the stage itself. We're talking about the "where" here, as in those unusual or amazing settings that, from time to time, put on a big show. For you, your "wheres" could involve visiting every Broadway theater, or the oldest theaters in your state. But for those who love their stage productions to arrive with some sunshine, there are the world's great alfresco venues. And one of the Golden State's most historic and summery? It surely has to be...

THE MOUNTAIN PLAY, at Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre at Mt. Tamalpais State Park. The Marin County destination has been the home to great plays for, well, decades, scratch that, over a century, meaning your great-grandparents could have attended, back when they were tots. It's (literally) dancing into its 106th with the opening of the 2019 production on Sunday, May 19. It's "Grease," so you'll want to wear your bobby socks, or at least keep them in your backpack as you hike to the theater. Oh yes: One of the options is hiking up to the state park, via a "scenic route," and it takes around "3-4 hours up." If that time commitment is a bit too much, there are other ways to reach the amphitheatre, so read all.

THIS IS A DAYTIME TREAT, and it is only scheduled for six select May and June dates. Is there entertainment before the show? You bet, so arrive early to get into the songful spirit. Can you picnic? For sure, so pack your lunch in, or purchase something tasty there on the grounds. A ticket? Find information here. The knowledge that you've marked another terrific alfresco theater off your theater-themed bucket list? The Mountain Play is a Mt. Tam must, and a California "get" for those who like fun theater presented in fun place. And an outdoor setting, in the late spring sunshine, is way up there on the fun scale, whether you choose to hike in, bike in, or catch the shuttle. Read more now.

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