Late August has been eventful along the East Coast -- the rumbling of an earthquake, hurricane Irene and the aftermath -- yet beautiful weather has returned and with it come some last opportunities for summer culture. Top of the list: the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival that celebrates its 25th anniversary with a final performance of Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors this weekend. To this pairing, the company offers Around the World in 80 Days (Friday, Sept. 2), ingeniously staged by Christopher V. Edwards with five actors playing 39 roles! The global romp, witty and droll, brings the range of characters to England, India, China in varied modes of 19th-century transport: steamship, train, elephant.

The production is refreshingly inventive in means and irresistible in effect. What's more, the setting is in an open-air tent on the grounds of the historic 19th-century Boscobel estate in Garrison, New York, with transporting views of the Hudson River and the mountains beyond. Through September 4.

Mario R. Mercado is the arts editor at Travel + Leisure

Photo courtesy of William Marsh