In the climactic scene of William Shakespeare's anxious comedy The Merchant of Venice, Portia dresses as a man and adjudicates a civil dispute. At the upcoming Brooklyn Academy of Music production, that display of gender illusionism should prove particularly convincing: Portia and the rest of the play's characters will be portrayed by the all-male Propeller Company. This English corps, under Edward Hall's exuberant direction, has already delighted audiences with witty, lively, and oddly poignant versions of Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew. The current playset amid a squalid Venetian prisonexamines romance, violence, and morality. Tickets range from $25 to $65, though you might attempt to pay in pounds of flesh.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: May 6. Continues through May 17, 2009