Shakespeare in a New Key

William Shakespeare never lived in postwar Key West. He never wrote his masterpieces on gum-speckled tables in boisterous Duval Street bars, wearing T-shirts printed with phrases like “At Wherefore Art the Ladies?” But if Bill Shakespeare did populate Key West dives, his early comedy Love’s Labours Lost might look something like the production opening tonight at FAU’s Studio One Theatre. Originally set amid a 16th-century European monarchy, the play has been given a face-lift by the director of the FAU version, Jean-Louis Baldet. The action — a romantic roundelay among noblemen — now unfolds in 1947 Key West, which has been reimagined as an independent kingdom and the seat of power of the Great Florida Keys. The familiar milieu should provide a smooth entrée into one of the Bard’s more obscure and difficult comedies. “Love’s Labours Lost is Shakespeare’s most-educated comedy,” Baldet says. “It contains endless examples of double-entendres, puns, plays on words, and complex illusions. It is, in many ways, better than some of his more well-known comedies.” Studio One Theatre is located on FAU’s main campus, 777 Glades Road in Boca Raton. Tickets cost $20. Call 800-564-9539, or visit
Fri., June 29; Sat., July 21, 2012

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