The Santa Monica Playhouse will present the world premiere of Abraham Alan Ross’ play Elizabeth Shakespeare and the Astute Detective, a romantic comedy about the truth about William Shakespeare, beginning Saturday, Aug. 28 through Oct. 3.

Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 p.m. Sundays at the playhouse, 1211 Fourth St., Santa Monica.

The play tells the story of a quest to answer “Who really wrote those Shakespeare plays?” Character Elizabeth Shakespeare says she is a descendant of the Bard and is willing to kill to protect his name. But, with a simple key-stroke on his computer, the astute detective can prove Shakespeare didn’t write a single word of the plays and sonnets.

In Ross’ comedy, the astute detective of the title, Tad Maxwell of Oxford, believes that Edward de Vere, The Earl of Oxford was the true author of Shakespeare’s works. Via his computer he conjures up The Bard and The Earl from their four centuries’ demise. His investigation brings him into conflict with Elizabeth Shakespeare of Stratford, who is positive that William Shakespeare was the true author of his plays and sonnets.

As Tad tries to coax Elizabeth to his point of view, she fights her physical (and mental) attraction to this romantic iconoclast.

Tickets are $25 for regular admission. Discounts are available for students, seniors, teachers, member of the military and groups of eight or more. Reservations are required.

For tickets and group sales, the playhouse box office at (310) 394-9779 ext. 1. Information,