Take a handicapped person to a performance of the delightful, modernized production of “LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST” at the open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park! You both will laugh loud and often.
My daughter, Perri, took me on a cool, cloudy August night. We were armed with umbrellas and slickers. We would, and in the past we have, eagerly sat through the performance in the rain. Who minds a little water when you’re already drowning in wit?
The theater’s handicapped section is in the first rows of the orchestra on the right! The best seats! Free! There many of the patrons are accompanied by their silent, docile guide dogs. These rest under the seats of their owners. They seem to appreciate Shakespeare; I have never heard one bark.
I was provided with a headset on which a terse, skillful narrator describes the stage scene and summarizes the ongoing action onstage smoothly and unobtrusively.
The basic story is simple: the young king of Navarre and three of his friends take a vow to give up women for three years and study. They plan serious sincere celibacy. Immediately, four lovely young women appear on the scene and there is delightful humor and ribaldry as people fall in love.
The music is merry, the songs clever and funny, and in this production somehow nothing is extraneous. There is even a full high school marching band leading us all towards a rousing happy ending. Why? Why not? Love deserves a high school marching band! So we leave the theater merry if not edified. Who wants to be edified?
That’s the whole point!