Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre offers an original musical by local playwright Leo McElroy, in collaboration with the late composer J. Russell Robinson. Mermaid Tavern is old-school: short on irony, long on love story, with a few toe-tapping, ale-swilling production numbers. Set in the private “writer’s room” of the beautifully constructed Mermaid, the main conflict centers around debt-dodging Elizabethan scribes: Ben Jonson (Michael Walker), Christopher Marlowe (Brendan O’Brien), William Shakespeare (Ryan Williams) and the team of Francis Beaumont (Joseph Schulte) and John Fletcher (Joshua Smith). High points come from campy turns by Williams as the bard of Avon and Victoria Goldblatt as Celia, a supposedly unlovely barmaid.
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; $24 (includes dessert). 1901 P Street; (916) 444-8209, www.thistle-dew.net. Reservations required; through September 1.