Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus has, historically, never been well-received by Shakespearean critics. Possibly his earliest tragedy, critics saw it as over-the-top–and in GreenStage’s production, director Tony Driscoll does this justice. Although this Titus pretty accurately adheres to the original script, it takes into account its nuances of absurdity and explodes them. This story of a Roman general whose rigidity unleashes a whirlwind of revenge and fury may have never been meant to be taken seriously, but Driscoll’s overtly comic version, although drop-to-the floor funny, detracts from the play’s truly tragic moments. Rape, murder, dismemberments, cannibalism, and blood are generally not light themes, but Driscoll adds dashes of incest, homosexuality, and more blood to top it all off. The performance comes with a “Hard Bard” disclaimer for those who might find this sort of thing objectionable. IRFAN SHARIFF

Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 9. Continues through Oct. 31, 2009