YourPick Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.
Okay, we know what you're doing this weekend: going crazy with last-minute shopping, baking, packing, wrapping . . . whatever. After all that frenzy, you deserve something to look forward to, and so Marla Minnicino of Leesburg wrote to us with this suggestion for next weekend:
"Sure, there's plenty of Shakespeare in Washington, but instead we'll be heading to the Shenandoah Valley Dec. 28-30 for the midwinter sneak preview weekend at the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton." (The Virginia town is pronounced "STAN-ton," by the way.)
"Where else can you . . . roll out of bed (at the historic Frederick House B&B or at the luxurious, renovated Stonewall Jackson Hotel) and walk over to Blackfriars, where you will be able to catch three Shakespeare plays ('Merchant of Venice,' 'Henry V' and 'The Taming of the Shrew'), presented by the American Shakespeare Center's touring troupe. . . . Breakfast healthily at Cranberry's natural foods restaurant around the corner, lunch at local favorite Baja Bean and dine in style at the new upscale farm-to-table Staunton Grocery. Feed your body and your mind!"
The Blackfriars Playhouse is part of the American Shakespeare Center, 10 S. Market St., Staunton, Va. Tickets are $20 to $36. For showtimes and more information, visit http:/
If you have a great idea, Weekend wants to know about it. Tell us in 75 fun-filled words (or fewer) what events -- close to home or more far-flung -- you wouldn't miss, and we may feature your pick on our "Weekend's Best" page. Because of deadlines, it doesn't help to tell us what you're doing this weekend, but next weekend or further out would be great. Deadline is noon Tuesday. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, address and a daytime phone number.