Review: Talky and Terrific

Posted August 25, 2022


By Gwendolyn Rice, Isthmus

Love’s Labour’s Lost is a silly play. There are a lot of good reasons that it’s done infrequently. In fact, American Players Theatre has produced it only a handful of times, most recently in 2002.

One of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, it is jam-packed with relentless wordplay that can be more work to decipher than the jokes are worth. And it doesn’t help that modern audiences have no hope of understanding some of the jibes that the Elizabethan court probably howled at — scholars believe Shakespeare was using the play to satirize contemporary figures from the late 16th century. A meditation on the fickleness of youth, the overwhelming power of infatuation to destroy higher aims, and the idea that words can be so tortured that they lose meaning altogether, it is light on plot and dense in language.

And that is why you should run, not walk, to the American Players Theatre box office to get your tickets to the company’s incredibly smart, lush, effervescent production of the play, running in the outdoor Hill Theatre through October 2. It will make you laugh until your stomach hurts. It is joy in its purest form. It is also a reminder of how much talent APT regularly assembles for its classical productions — which can be absolutely transformed in the hands of a cast and production team who unabashedly unleash their entire creative selves.

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