Like peanut butter and chocolate, peas and carrots, so too does Shakespeare and the golden age of television go together. At least that's the case at the Stars Playhouse, which opens "The Golden Age of Shakespeare?" this weekend.

The Bard's influence is evident in all forms of literature and visual entertainment, but not everyone sees the connection.

Director Vickie Stricklind wrote in her notes for the show, " ... His prose, plots and characters are as alive today as they were when the plays were originally staged. Our goal was to make Shakespeare accessible in a different way; to somehow make it more relatable."

To help bridge the gap for those who "watched the movie" for high school reading assignments, Stricklind and show creator/co-director Tena Williamson combines elements of some popular television programs with Shakespearean comedies and tragedies.

It's divided into black and white ("Gilligan’s Island”/“As You Like It," “I Love Lucy”/“The Merry Wives of Windsor" and "The Twilight Zone”/“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) and technicolor (“Happy Days”/"Romeo and Juliet,” “Laverne & Shirley”/“Much Ado About Nothing” and “The Brady Bunch”/“The Taming of the Shrew").

The cast includes Williamson, Rob Lang, Julie Gaines, Savanna Lux, Piper Stricklind, Zachary Alva, Ashlee Lang, Stevie McNabb, Brian Nunez, Travis McElroy and Thomas Brill.

Performances run Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through May 18 at the Stars Playhouse 2756 Mosasco St. Tickets are $20, $15 for those 18 and under, available at or by calling 325-6100.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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