For the recent San Jose Repertory Theatre revival of Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, director Jeff Steitzer chose to relocate the action to Hollywood during the silent film era. “Verona [where the characters start out] becomes a small town in a state like Kansas, and Milan [where they end up] becomes Hollywood,” he says. As a result, costume designer B. Modern threw herself into an orgy of cinema research, boning up on the silent stars. Each of the play's principals is patterned after a Hollywood great. For example, the clown, Launce, “is a combination of Charlie Chaplin and [silent comedian] Harry Langdon,” Modern explains. “I've watched Langdon in The Strong Man [1926] at least four times.” And so it goes: “Sylvia is a big movie star. Jeffrey was interested in the young Myrna Loy but he had me look at the film Show People [1928] and I fell in love with Marion Davies. Julia is more like Mary Pickford, a sweet, curly-haired, down-home, heart-of-gold type. Valentine was based on all those wholesome, football-playing guys like Buddy Rogers, while Proteus is totally Harold Lloyd.” Other characters were based on silent-film pioneers D.W. Griffith and Louis B. Mayer. With scenery by Drew Boughton, lighting by Dawn Chiang, and sound by Jeff Mockus, The Two Gentlemen of Verona played December 7 through January 12.