Memo to Helena (Rachel Fowler): Maybe he's just not that into you.
R.R. Jones
Memo to Helena (Rachel Fowler): Maybe he's just not that into you.

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All's Well That Ends Well
Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by Tim Ocel. Starring Rachel Fowler and Erik Hellman.

Burn This
Written by Lanford Wilson. Directed by Michael Barakiva. Starring Yvonne Woods and Gene Gillette.

Through Aug. 31 at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Theater Arts Center, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $25-$44; call 831-459-2159 or visit www.shakespearesantacruz.org.

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If anyone at Shakespeare Santa Cruz is playing with fire right now, it's Barricelli. The artistic director's decision to present four plays (rather than the company's previously standard three) in repertory, and to balance out crowd-pleasing Shakespeare productions (All's Well and Romeo and Juliet) with works by living playwrights (Burn This and Itamar Moses' Bach at Leipzig) is a daring departure, particularly in an unforgiving economic climate. The chemistry for success is certainly there in the combination of talented artists and enthusiastic audiences. But whether Barricelli's reign will foster an enduring romance between plays and theatergoers or serve as a mere one-night stand remains to be seen.

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