Palamon and Arcite are friends bound by ties of blood and of duty. The cousins are loyal to King Creon of Thebes, whose habit of disobeying the funerary laws of ancient Greece has led to a disastrous war that Thebes loses. Now imprisoned as war criminals, the two boon companions are content to do their time together -- until a woman wrecks everything. Emilia is an Athenian beauty whom the boys spot from their cell; both fall immediately in love with her and turn on each other. When Arcite is bailed out by a relative, he schemes to get close to Emilia and win her heart. Palamon stews in jail, until the smitten daughter of the jailer helps him escape and hide in the Athenian forest. There in the forest, the two former friends meet once again; they soon agree to duel to the death for Emilia's hand. And so once again, the specter of marriage destroys another male friendship. The Two Noble Kinsmen is another co-written venture by William Shakespeare (John Fletcher is the best bet for the other writer) that's rarely performed these days. St. Louis Shakespeare rights that wrong with a production that plays at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (August 16 through 25) at Washington University South Campus Theatre (6501 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights; 314-361-5664 or www.stlshakespeare.org). There is one 7:30 p.m. performance on Thursday, August 22. Tickets are $15 to $25.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Aug. 15. Continues through Aug. 25, 2013