Love's Labor's Lost | Chicago Shakespeare Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Love's Labor's Lost Closing (Theater and Galleries) Member Picks Recommended The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 26 2017

Shakespeare's jest fests can get annoying, what with everybody competing so hard to win points for repartee—and this early romantic comedy is as jest-festy as they get. But it's also remarkable for the ways in which it refuses to act like a conventional rom-com. When the King of Navarre's courtiers let infatuation get ahead of honor, love neither conquers nor forgives all. Marti Maraden's gorgeous, compassionate staging brings out these off-tones, highlighting not only the nobles' hypocrisy but their offhand cruelty. There's a deep resonance in the moment when an old pedant, teased like the rude mechanicals in A Midsummer Night's Dream, tells his supposed betters, "This is not generous, not gentle, not humble." Maraden's cast works gracefully under the tree-limbed canopy of Kevin Depinet's equally graceful set, with Allen Gilmore making himself especially vivid as a fantastical Spaniard. —Tony Adler

Price: $58-$88

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