2½ stars (out of four)

This loopy, clever comedy opens with Shakespeare's "all the world's a stage" passage, a concept the movie takes to heart. Beautiful young actress Helen (Michi Barall) arrives at her Manhattan apartment after being propositioned by her director (Giancarlo Esposito). There, she discovers a barely dressed woman (Kate Hodge) apparently cleaning her house. Helen assumes the intruder is having an affair with her husband, the much-older opera star Bandrowsky (Larry Pine ).

Bandrowsky, meanwhile, has just finished a performance of Othello. He is immediately attacked by an insane young man who took the story to heart. And this is only the first 20 minutes or so of the movie.

First-time writer-director Zhenya Kiperman paints a wild world of off-stage drama and farce that mimics that which the characters experience onstage. The story feels a bit uneven, but it manages to pull off a pretty hilarious twist. And the finale, featuring a rewritten Hamlet performed in a prison, has to be seen to be believed.

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'I Will Avenge You, Iago'

Running time: 1:35. 6 p.m. Sat., 7:45 p.m. Wed., at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.; 312-846-2800, siskelfilmcenter.org. No MPAA rating (language, partial nudity, drug use, adult themes).