Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" is getting a total musical makeover in the Public Theater's new staging at the Delacorte Theatre in
With director Alex Timbers and songwriter Michael Friedman on board, this version of the Bard's comedy relocates the action from the kingdom of Navarre to a modern-day resort populated by rowdy college graduates.
Timbers and Friedman were the minds behind the musical "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," which ran at the Kirk Douglas Theatre before transferring to the Public and later to Broadway. This time around, they've taken the bulk of Shakespeare's plot, only some of his text and fashioned a musical production featuring high-spirited songs and dance numbers.
This isn't the first time that "Love's Labour's Lost" has been given a musical spin.
The new production in Central Park features a cast that includes Daniel Breaker and
What did the critics think?
Entertainment Weekly's Thom Geier called the production "a silly summertime confection as tasty and ephemeral as cotton candy." Timbers and Friedman "are never less than clever" and "there's a generous expansiveness" in this ensemble piece.
Ben Brantley of the
Jesse Green of New York magazine wrote that the creative team has "made opportunities out of the play's liabilities, and a delicious summer evening out of questionable ingredients." The songs "are especially smart, finding in standard musical moments apt analogs for the exploration of themes" that Shakespeare himself didn't fully flesh out.