Cymbeline at Folger Elizabethan Theatre Wednesday, May 28

Cymbeline is to Shakespeare’s canon what the Dangerous album is to Michael Jackson’s—underrated, eclipsed by bigger hits, but well worth revisiting. The play, one of the Bard’s earliest, follows a convoluted series of events that span a royal kidnapping, a cruel stepmother, and the Roman invasion of Britain. All 14 of the production’s characters are filled by just six Fiasco Theater players, who switch between roles faster than the King of Pop switched musical characters. Like the actors, the production’s props play many parts; a white cloth becomes a sail and a toga, a wooden trunk becomes a ship. Fiasco’s skilled company of actors wield those items well, and the play’s original New York run in 2011 yielded rave reviews from the holy trio of New York criticism: the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Village Voice. And since this production has traveled to D.C. with its original company intact, it’s possible that even Shakespeare himself would stand up and applaud on opening night. The production runs May 28–June 1 at Folger Elizabethan Theatre, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $54–$72. (202) 544-7077.

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