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Kings Road Park is a small, bucolic gem, plunked down amid our urban sprawl, and a perfect venue for the city of West Hollywood's Free Theatre in the Parks program. This play, produced by the Classical Theatre Lab, is by Carlo Goldoni and was first performed in 1762. But the approach is anything but purist: Director Louis Fantasia has updated it by adding Italian-flavored pop songs such as “Mambo Italiano,” “That's Amore” and “Che Sera.” The busy plot, set in a small fishing village, hinges on four embattled pairs of lovers, all at odds because of gossip, backbiting, jealousy and stubborn pride. Chaos reigns till a frazzled public official (Michael Matthys) is brought in to engineer the happy ending required by a good folk comedy. Fantasia keeps the action moving at a nice clip, with engaging performances by the cast of 14, including Daniel Jimenez as an extroverted flirt, Christine Avila as a local matriarch, Carolyn Crotty as her nubile daughter, Lucietta, Paul David Story as Lucietta's jealous lover and Steve Peterson in a fine comic turn as the garrulously incoherent Fortunato. Dorothy MacLean provides the colorful peasant costumes and Mother Nature supplies the setting, beneath a spreading gingko tree. Kings Road Park, 1000 N. Kings Road, W. Hlywd.; Sat.-Sun., 4 p.m.; through July 28; free, reservations recommended. (323) 960-5691.

Saturdays, Sundays, 4 p.m. Starts: July 6. Continues through July 28, 2013

LA Weekly