Michael Urie gives a magnetic and very funny performance as a preening, querulous and entitled version of William Shakespeare in Talene Monahon's Bardoclastic and often hilarious Jacobean revenge comedy, which finds the master holed up in quarantine in 1606 and struggling to write King Lear. Ryan Spahn mugs ingeniously as his main companion and bootlick, a filthy and sniveling would-be actor, and Monahon herself is a hoot as Shakespeare's wife, the self-loathing Anne Hathaway (whose name provides fodder for anachronistic gags). Less successful is Amelia Workman's turn as the title character, a "cunning woman" and protofeminist pamphleteer who shows up asking for a favor; in this workshop production, at least, Monahon hasn't figured out how to make the character as appealing or amusing as the others, which somewhat dulls the show's ultimate point. Even so, the play—directed with merry energy by Jess Chayes—offers a welcome dose of timely, knowing humor. It's mad entertaining.
Jane Anger. New Ohio Theatre (Off Broadway). By Talene Monahon. Directed by Jess Chayes. With Michael Urie, Ryan Spahn, Amelia Workman, Monahon. Running time: 1hr 35mins. No intermission.