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Top Tickets: September 19-25

Diablo’s can’t-miss events of the coming week: Cal Shakes’ “Taming of the Shrew,” Town Hall Theatre Company’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Walnut Festival, Eat Real Festival, Italian Street Painting Festival, “Magic School Bus Live,” Livermore Valley Opera’s “Romeo et Juliette,” and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra.



Picasso at the Lapin Agile / photo by Stu Selland

This week, we move from summer into fall.  But, expect the warm weather to hang on for several more weeks, and head outdoors for food festivals and street painting. Here are our Top Tickets.

September 21–October 16: Taming of the Shrew
California Shakespeare Theater concludes its season of outdoor theater performances, with director Shana Cooper's reimagining of Shakespeare’s biting—and controversial—romantic comedy, about competitive siblings, gender roles, and courtship. Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda, times vary, $35–$66, (510) 548-9666, calshakes.org.

September 22–25: Walnut Festival
This annual fest originally celebrated the grape harvest—until Prohibition forced farmers to replace vineyards with walnut groves. Now the walnut groves are gone, too. However, the party continues, with carnival rides, fried food, and live entertainment. Heather Farm Park, 500 San Carlos Dr., Walnut Creek, times vary, $5, (925) 935-6766, thewalnutfestival.org.

September 22–October 15: Picasso at the Lapin Agile
Town Hall Theatre Company kicks off its season of theater, with Steve Martin’s comic gem about a meeting between Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein at a Parisian bar, as they talk about creation, love, beautiful women, the lies of men, and the future. Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School St., Lafayette, times vary, $15–$29, (925) 283-1557, townhalltheatre.com.

September 23–25: Eat Real Festival
Enjoy street food from food trucks and vendors from across the Bay Area in one place, at this annual festival celebrating local food. Also on the schedule: cooking demonstrations and an artisan goods marketplace. For more info, check out our story in the September issue. For even more food-related events this week, check out the Weekly Dish blog. Jack London Square, at Broadway and First, Oakland, times vary, free admission, (510) 250-7811, eatrealfest.com.

Eat Real Festival / photo by Phillip YipSeptember 24-25: Magic School Bus Live
The beloved educational children’s cartoon comes to life, when Ms. Frizzle and her curious students take the stage. They travel from the polar ice to the tropics to learn about climate change, in this world premiere performance by Bay Area Children’s Theatre. Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon, 2 p.m., $15–$20, (925) 973-3343, bactheatre.org.

September 24–25: Italian Street Painting Festival
This annual fest lures artists to downtown Martinez to create chalk masterpieces—and attendees can get in on the action in the Community Chalk area for $10. The festival also features arts and crafts booths, entertainment, wine tasting, and bocce. Main Street Plaza, Martinez, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., free admission, (925) 228-3577, mainstreetmartinez.org.

September 24–October 2: Romeo et Juliette
Livermore Valley Opera opens its season with Charles Gounod’s French operatic take on Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy. Take the kids to a Sunday matinee for ice cream and a backstage tour. Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St., times vary, $29–$74, Livermore, (925) 960-9210, livermorevalleyopera.org.

September 25: Making Overtures
Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra kicks off its season with something for both new listeners and classical music veterans: six different overtures, from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and Franz Schubert’s “Rosamunde,” among others. Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek, 7:30 p.m., $10–$30, (925) 9437469, cccorch.org.

For even more events happening this week, or to submit an event for consideration, visit Diablo’s Community Calendar. Follow Diablo on Twitter or Facebook (links below), and you'll be notified as soon as Top Tickets posts each Monday morning.