Love's Labour Found in University City

October 28, 2009

Love's Labour: FOUND in University City

Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey

October 28, 2009

You have to really love Shakespeare to be familiar with Love's Labour's Lost. Although it's one of the Bard's earlier comedies, it's not performed often... probably because it doesn't really end. A man ahead of his time, Billy Shakes ended the play in true cliffhanger fashion, setting things up for a sequel. A sequel that was, legend tells us, allegedly written and performed, but whose script does not survive. (Probably for the best—sequels are never as good anyway. Right, Mannequin: On the Move?)

But what to do with a play that doesn't end? Branaugh gave it a showy newsreel-inspired montage. (But then, he also thought it would be a good idea to make Matthew Lillard sing.) When this Phillyist directed it in college, she cut the last scene of the play and let it end more naturally, albeit on a down note. And we have no doubt that Shakespeare's Globe Theatre will have an approach all of its own as they perform Love's Labour's Lost at the Annenberg Center at the University of Pennsylvania through this Saturday.

The play, which aside from its awkward conclusion contains delightful puns; celibacy vows; and secret romances will be accompanied tonight and tomorrow by a pre-show discussion with Penn professors well-versed in the Bard. Friday's show will be followed by a discussion with the entire cast.

So if you're in the mood to dig deeper into Shakespeare's canon and maybe get a little education in the process, get thee to the Annenberg before it's too late!