Two Gentlemen Rock Verona follows the misadventures of two best friends, Valentine and Proteus set in the Rockin’ and Rollin’ 1950s. Valentine is about to leave his small town for a life in the big city, while Proteus chooses to stay behind to woo the lovely Julia. Proteus’ father has other plans for him, however, and instructs him to follow Valentine to pursue his education. When Proteus arrives, he gets one look at the Duke’s daughter, Sylvia, and immediately forgets Julia back home. The problem is that Sylvia is his best friend’s girl; and Julia won’t be dumped that easily! Mix in some bandits, an incensed father and a disguise (of course) and it’s friend versus friend in a madcap tale of romantic rivals.
Set to the soundtrack of the wild and wacky 1950s, the play deals with the themes of friendship, passion and infidelity, and the scandals that occur when fools fall in love.
The show was originally produced under the title Two Rockin’ Gents at the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre in 2001 and at Webster University in 2005. Writer and director James Saba brings the show to Coronado Playhouse as part of the FREE Classic Series. Saba and Steve Gunderson, who provides musical arrangements, are fixtures in the San Diego theatre community and beyond.
James Saba, a native San Diegan, is Executive Director of San Diego Junior Theatre. As a freelance director, he has worked at Webster University, Diversionary Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, and was Craig Noel’s assistant on four productions at the Old Globe Theatre. Saba also has a long history as an actor in regional theatre and on many local stages.
Steve Gunderson is an actor, singer, composer, arranger, and playwright. Born in San Diego, he studied in London and spent 15 years in New York before settling back on the West Coast. Gunderson co-wrote, starred in, and was the musical arranger for Off Broadway’s Suds, which has gone on to have scores of productions worldwide and was produced at CPH in 2013.
This production is based on William Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. The exact composition date of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona is unknown, but it is generally believed to have been one of Shakespeare’s earliest works, if not his first play.