Shakespeare Shaken and Stirred, with a Twist

There’s Shakespeare, then there’s Filter Theatre’s Shakespeare, which makes its West Coast debut in Berkeley this week. The U.K.-based company takes the Bard’s work, shakes it like a cocktail, stirs in a band and outrageously pleasurable sound design, all making for a rebellious and physically risky performance. Don’t worry, the play is still the central work: Women dress as men dressed as women; love is found, lost and misplaced; there’s poisonous plotting; plus swords, and big boots, of course. If it sounds confusing, it is — and not every twisted update translates, even without the hurly-burly of classic Shakespearean lingo. Regardless, you’ll laugh, crave an after-show pizza, and enjoy 90-minutes of hooliganism that can be called highbrow art.

March 22-26, various showtimes, $38-92. Zellerbach Playhouse, Bancroft and Dana streets, Berkeley, CalPerformances.org.

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