Rock on, Shakespeare

Love’s Labour’s Lost

Too bad Kurt and Courtney didn’t have Shakespeare to make it all work out in the end.

Too bad Kurt and Courtney didn’t have Shakespeare to make it all work out in the end.

Love’s Labour’s Lost, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday; $10-$15. Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 960-3036; Through December 8.

Big Idea Theatre

1616 Del Paso Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95815

(916) 390-9485

Rated 5.0

The Bard of Avon meets This Is Spinal Tap in Big Idea Theatre’s current rock ’n’ roll-band adaptation of Love’s Labour’s Lost, and it’s just the latest in a line of inspired Shakespeare tweaking by Big Idea Theatre, the troupe that brought us a zombie apocalypse Henry V and a gender-bending Twelfth Night.

Love’s Labour’s Lost is one of Shakespeare’s earlier comedies; the storyline is more silly than sophisticated, which makes it ripe for changing the original premise of a royal court which vows celibacy to a group of rockers who swear off booze, drugs and women for a year. It’s all good until a grrrl band shows up, tempting the foursome out of both celibacy and sobriety.

Kirk Blackinton, who also plays the lead singer of the Kings of Navarre, cleverly adapted the play to include all the best rock stereotypes: kooky band members, roadies, groupies and fans that could be right out of Spinal Tap.

Added to the clever premise is a talented, fun cast with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks and the necessary training for making Bard-speak accessible, all under the skilled hand of director Michael R.J. Campbell. Campbell and Renee DeGarmo also rock the look with their spot-on costume designs.

Dudes and ladies, rock on!