Category Archives: Reviews


By Lily Janiak San Francisco Gate, published August 8, 2017. To stage one of Shakespeare’s so-called problem plays is to give yourself a mighty hurdle to leap over. The fate of your production will hang not just on the usual suspects like acting and design but also on to what extent you mitigate a central […]

SF CHRONICLE: Theater capsule review – Measure for Measure

By Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, published August 9, 2017.

SC SENTINEL REVIEW: SCS brings an Italian fizz to ‘Two Gents

By Joanne Engelhardt, Santa Cruz Sentinel, published August 10, 2017 With its focus on mid-century European chic, Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’ is stylistically a triumph.  In a somewhat unusual attempt to enliven Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s third 2017 production, “Two Gentlemen of Verona” director Art Manke apparently decided to create a takeoff of […]

GOOD TIMES REVIEW: Love, Italian Style – Visual wit shines in SCS’ delightful Two Gents

By Lisa Jensen, Good Times. Published July, 9, 2017 A priest and his beaming altar boy, a winged mime on roller skates, a flock of nuns, and a bunch of guys in towels walk onto a stage. No, it’s not an old joke. It’s the beginning of a sprightly, visually splendid new production of Shakespeare’s […]


By Philip Pearce, published July 24, 2017 MEASURE FOR MEASURE, now on view at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, is one of the Bard’s undervalued masterpieces. For lack of a better category, most editors file it among the comedies. But it has more in common with the rancid satire of Brecht’s Threepenny Opera than the music and fairy dust of Twelfth Night or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In a […]

REVIEW SC Sentinel: Santa Cruz Shakespeare triumphs with a new spin on HAMLET

By Joanne Engelhardt,, POSTED: 08/04/16 Kate Eastwood Norris (Hamlet) in Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s 2016 production of Hamlet in The Grove at DeLaveaga Park. Photo by Jana Marcus. Are there any words left to describe the brooding Dane “Hamlet,” brought to life hundreds of years ago by William Shakespeare? There’s at least one, thanks to [...]

REVIEW Good Times: Stellar acting and sharp wit in this new take on the epic tragedy

BY CHRISTINA WATERS, POSTED ON AUGUST 2, 2016 Kate Eastwood Norris (Hamlet), and Carol Halstead (Gertrude) in Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s 2016 production of Hamlet in The Grove at DeLaveaga Park. Photo by Jana Marcus. One night I was transfixed by the sight of a woman being nominated for President of the United States, the next [...]

REVIEW SF Gate: A promising 3rd act for Santa Cruz Shakespeare

By Lily Janiak, SF Chronicle, Sunday, July 31, 2016 Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s new venue, the Grove at DeLaveaga Park, was planned, funded and built in just over a year. You have to climb hills and traverse a golf course to get there, but you’re rewarded with rustic elegance: a spare stage nestled within a eucalyptus grove. The [...]

REVIEW SC Sentinel: Santa Cruz Shakespeare enchants in its new home with A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By Joanne Engelhardt, Santa Cruz Sentinel, POSTED: 07/20/16 Fairies in turquoise pajamas. A red-haired sprite wearing a fluffy white dress with turquoise hugging the skirt. A king, resplendent in white with a turquoise floral pattern on his pants and a crown with turquoise gemstones. His bride, a vision in a long white gown with turquoise touches. Even the [...]

REVIEW Good Times: A wonderful cast and a sense of adventure

GOOD TIMES, BY LISA JENSEN   POSTED ON JULY 19, 2016 It’s fitting that Santa Cruz Shakespeare chooses A Midsummer Night’s Dream as the inaugural production for its spanking new venue at DeLaveaga Park. That they even got the stage erected in time for opening day is no less a feat of magic than anything devised by Puck and his fleet of [...]

REVIEW: THE LIAR is for you, Lisa Jensen Online

Lisa Jensen Online, Posted on August 17, 2015 Words Point By Lisa Jensen If you’re one of those slightly benighted folks who think Santa Cruz Shakespeare would be so much fun, except for, you know, all that Shakespeare, then the current SCS production of The Liar is for you. On the other hand, if you can’t […]

REVIEW: Chilling MACBETH, San Jose Mercury News

San Jose Mercury News, Posted on August 13, 2015 Chilling Macbeth reigns at Santa Cruz Shakespeare by Karen D’Souza The cursed Macbeth is forever trapped by fate in the Scottish play that bears his name, but for Santa Cruz Shakespeare, change is the only constant. Just two years ago, UC Santa Cruz shut down its original incarnation […]

REVIEW: Everyone’s a Badass in MACBETH,

Shakespeare’s Tribe, Posted on August 12, 2015 Everyone’s a Badass: A review of MACBETH at Santa Cruz Shakespeare by Kurt Daw In Kristen Brandt’s production of Macbeth, Scotland’s aristocratic class of Thanes is composed equally of hulking men straight out of Braveheart and badass, broadsword-wielding warrior women. This is far from the only way that actresses are especially prominent in […]

REVIEW: MACBETH Wicked Game, Good Times

Good Times, Posted on August 12, 2015 Wicked Game By Christina Waters Odd choices mar Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s atmospheric ‘Macbeth’ Handsome costumes, electrifying sound and light effects, and Shakespeare’s finest language all meet in Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a true theatrical witch’s brew. When the hurly burly’s done, casting innovations result in many interesting and challenging moments […]

REVIEW: Muscular Take on MACBETH, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Posted on August 12, 2015 Santa Cruz Shakespeare bids adieu to the Glen with a muscular take on Macbeth By Joanne Engelhardt A word to the wise: Don’t accept an invitation from Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to be their houseguest for a night. Why? Because they’re downright killer hosts! That, of course, sets […]

REVIEW: THE LIAR Smart, Sexy Funny; Good Times

Good Times, Posted on August 5, 2015 Pants on Fire By Christina Waters Smart, sexy and hilarious, Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s The Liar is a triumph Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s nimble new production of The Liar is the sort of searing live comedy that blows all things digital right off the map. Every single actor in this splendid production […]

REVIEW: THE LIAR a Comic Hit, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Posted on July 29, 2015 Santa Cruz Shakespeare has a comic hit on its hands with The Liar By Joanne Engelhardt Hark! Is that laughter coming from the Glen? Yeah, verily – it’s hearty laughter again … and then again! Theatergoers who have already seen Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s second play of the 2015 season, […]

REVIEW: A Terrific Much Ado, The Seventh Row

Seventh Row, Posted on July 17, 2015 A Terrific Much Ado written by Alex Heeney A successful production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” must satisfy three requirements: Beatrice and Benedick — the lovers in a merry war of wit — have to be lovable, the story needs to be clear, and the jokes have to land. Even Kenneth […]

REVIEW: Much Ado About Nothing,

Shakespeare’s Tribe, Posted on July 26, 2015 Smart Choices, More Voices: A Review of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by Kurt Daw Mike Ryan is making a lot of smart, invigorating decisions as Artistic Director at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, but the smartest of all might be to feature his own talents as Benedick in their current production of Much […]

REVIEW: Much Ado About Nothing, Performing Arts Monterey Bay

Performing Arts Monterey Bay, Posted on July 7, 2015 Much Ado About Nothing by Philip Pearce SANTA CRUZ SHAKESPEARE has just launched its second season with a lively production of Much Ado About Nothing on the UCSC campus. It’s a play that has had a lot of exposure in recent years. A lush and lavish Ashland Much Ado is running concurrently with […]