Artistic rivalries are the stuff of high drama -- look no further than the one-upsmanship of Mozart and Salieri, or the decades-long back-biting of Keith and Mick to see how great art is fueled by equal parts jealousy and egomania. But one tete-a-tete goes back a long ways: the rivalry of William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. A fervent subset of ivory tower muckrakers have long argued that Marlowe, not Shakespeare, is the true author of the timeless plays and sonnets so celebrated. Now, an Elizabethan crime drama ratchets up the stakes. In Charles Marowitz's Murdering Marlowe, a conniving Shakespeare is the true force behind the real-life murder of Marlowe. In the hands of the West End Players Guild, the thriller offers good old-fashioned intrigue and bloodshed alongside the quest for personal gain and towering fame. Kind of like MacBeth, come to think of it. Murdering Marlowe is committed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (November 11 through 20) at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 Union Boulevard; 314-367-0025 or www.westendplayers.org). Tickets are $20.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 11. Continues through Nov. 20, 2011