I frequent many theaters in the San Francisco Bay Area, but none of them prepared me for the Mountain Play experience. After a quick glance on their website, I was intrigued by the plein air styled theater reminiscent of an ancient Greek amphitheater.
The Sunday morning drive up to Mount Tamalpais, which is the location of Mountain Play, is an adventure of glorious scenery. I am grateful Clint navigates so I can immerse myself in the beauty of the majestic trees along the sides of the winding Hwy 1 and the ethereal Pacific Ocean in the background.
For more on this year’s production of Guys & Dolls, check out Clint’s review: ‘Guys and Dolls’ a magical outdoor theater experience at Mountain Play
Once the car was parked, I haul out our cooler packed full of diet coke, water and beer, plus a backpack filled with snacks and my latest panini creation. Then we hiked up to the box office to pick up our tickets.
Past the ticket booth, there is a narrow hiking path surrounded by gently bent trees.
Soon, the path widens and I see crowds of people milling in front of booths selling food and refreshments to be enjoyed during Guys & Dolls. There is also a new wine and beer booth operated by Mountain Play featuring wines from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, a first for this production company in its 97th season.
The seats in the theater are constructed of large boulders that look spectacular in its setting on Mount Tamalpais but ones rear end may desire a bit more comfort. Funky seat cushions are available for rental ($15).
My seat in the shade is perfect and I marvel at how the set and costumes really pop, the sound is crystal clear and how contagious each musical number is. It isn’t long until I am swaying and poking Clint to join my merriment.
I met up with Sara Pearson, Executive Director of Mountain Play, who gave me a tour of the area including the new massage area. It was very tempting to linger and get a massage, but alas, the music from the second act beckoned.
Poster of this year’s production of Guys & Dolls.
Sign post on the trail heading back to the car post-show. Even the hike back is an outdoor adventure treat.
Clint and I take our time hiking back to the car as we take in all the natural beauty of Mount Tamalpais.
Guys & Dolls is a wonderful way to spend a day.
Mountain Play produces only one musical a year so catch it while it’s in season on Mount Tamalpais.