[ theater ]
Director David O’Connor approaches Shakespeare’s seldom-seen romance in “let’s tell a story” style. Performers from the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre’s Classical Acting Academy mingle with the crowd before the show, wear comfy modern clothes and accompany each other with music and percussion in plain sight. When they get down to the story, it proves a rambunctious adventure (love that thrilling sword vs. bucket battle!), spurred by an exiled husband who foolishly bets on his wife’s fidelity. The culmination of a summer training program for young actors, the production maximizes the cast’s youthful exuberance with overlapping scenes in a lean, dynamically edited text that keeps the plot clear and brisk. Misunderstandings, coincidences and disguises — all for amour — illustrate the play’s great line, “Love’s reason’s without reason.”
Through August 19, free, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, 2111 Sansom St., 215-496-8001, phillyshakespeare.org.