Measure for Measure.
One of Shakespeare's darkest, surliest, and most intriguing works, Measure for Measure is a verbally ornate scandal sheet, cataloguing every moral failing short of flatulence. Cleveland Public Theatre's production is youthful and vibrant. The performers in the five leads are so highly charged they could light up a skyscraper. Director Timothy Saukiavicus starts out with a ghoulish nod to old decorum in a macabre waltz set to "The Blue Danube," with strutting bad boys and brassy harlots stuffed into evening gowns. He ends with a nasty, nihilistic spin on an already ambiguous work. In this production, everyone's in the gutter, with no one looking up at the stars. Through August 28 at the Cuyahoga County Archives Courtyard. Reviewed August 12.