Review: Shakespeare in Love at Green Valley Theatre Company

Showtimes: Fri 8pm, Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm; Through 8/10; $20; Roseville Tower Theater, 417 Vernon Street in Roseville; (916) 234-6981;
Rated 5.0

Will Shakespeare is popping up on the local scene—actually many scenes, as the main character in playwright Lee Hall’s adaption of the movie Shakespeare in Love. This theatrical version is being staged concurrently by Sacramento Shakespeare Festival and now at Green Valley Theatre Company. It’s a coincidence that the two theater groups picked the same play for their summer season, but it does provide a unique opportunity to see how each approaches the same material.

The good news is the both companies are staging winning productions (see the July 11 review of Sacramento Shakespeare Festival’s version). The story is both a love story and a tale of a struggling, unknown playwright named William Shakespeare, with hints on how moments and a muse make it into his plays.

Green Valley cleverly uses Roseville Tower Theater’s re-designed theater space to provide an intimate feel for the audience that surrounds the stage on three sides. This charming production delivers with gorgeous costumes, clever rolling wooden set pieces, a five-person live orchestra and a first-rate cast under the directorial finesse of Christopher Cook. Add in impressive sword fights, period-appropriate musical numbers and a cute dog, and you end up with a Shakespeare play where you not only understand the dialogue, but the plot as well.