Londons distinguished Globe Theatre lives up to its reputation with this traditional but resolutely un-stodgy production. Director Dominic Dromgoole deploys his lively young cast on an airily beautiful simulacrum of Shakespeares Globe Theatre, designed by Jonathan Fensom, whos also responsible for the authentically detailed Elizabethan costumes. Claire van Kampens original score, played on Elizabethan instruments, further garnishes the production, along with leaping Renaissance dances choreographed by Siân Williams. The King of Navarre (Philip Cumbus) and his three friends (Trystan Gravelle, Jack Farthing and William Mannering) swear a high-minded oath to forsake the company of women and devote themselves to study for three years. Then the Princess of France (Michelle Terry) arrives on an embassy from her father, accompanied by her ladies (Thomasin Rand, Siân Robins-Grace, and Jade Anouka), and the four men instantly break their oaths and fall giddily and symmetrically in love. Horseplay, wordplay, knockabout comedy, slapstick, and musical fart jokes ensue, culminating in a Hellzapoppin moment that ends in a massive food fight. A deft crew of zanies, pedants, proletarians, courtiers, and rustic lovers (Christopher Godwin, Paul Ready, Seroca Davis, Patrick Godfrey, Fergal McElherron, Rhiannon Oliver, Andrew Vincent, and Tom Stuart) all support the lovers. The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; variable schedule thru Nov. 29. (310) 434-3200, thebroadstage.com.
Fri., Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 21, 2 & 7 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 22, 1 p.m.; Mon., Nov. 23, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 27, 1 & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 28, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 29, 2 p.m., 2009