What makes "Love's Labour's Lost" tough to perform is the fact that it's a riot of frolicsome language. The play is full of wits, would-be wits and half-wits; very olde puns, mazelike reasoning and obscure references abound. (Possibly this is why Kenneth Branagh substituted so many songs by Cole Porter and other witty romantic tunesmiths for Shakespeare's text in last year's peculiar movie version: same sprightly flavor, fewer cultural gaps to bridge.) [Paparelli] weeds through some of the verbal thicket with a single chop, cutting from the show the Latin-spouting Holofernes and the curate Nathaniel.
Love's Labour's Lost, by William Shakespeare. Directed and adapted by PJ Paparelli. Costumes, T. Tyler Stumpf; lights, Lynn Joslin; composer/musical director, Joel Derfner; sound design, Brian MacKean. With Andrew Smith, Josh Barrett, Eric Bloom, Steven Kirkpatrick, Menchu Esteban, Jam Donaldson, Sarah Wiggin, Jesse Terrill and Jim Di Lauro. Through March 11 at the Clark Street Playhouse, 601 South Clark St., Arlington. Call 703-418-4808.
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