Lord of Misrule

The holidays are over, Epiphany come and gone, the Magi on their way home. Time to take in Shakespeare’s eponymous comedy, written for the Elizabethan festival of the season, a sort of mini-Mardi Gras overseen by the Lord of Misrule­—no, not W., but a fun, anarchistic leader. The Bard’s popular play involves unlikely plot twists, a shipwreck, mistaken identity, cross-dressing and a sourpuss religious conservative who wants to rain on everybody’s good time. The bad guy is Malvolio and the prankster uncle is Sir Toby Belch. Great names, broad strokes, but also a play within a play and, if you will, a nifty post-Bush satire of power and ambition—tumultuous leaders are just as prevalent today as in 1600.
Fri., Jan. 23, 8 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 24, 8 p.m., 2009

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