Pants on Fire's Metamorphoses

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In the English troupe Pants on Fire's frequently delightful take on Metamorphoses, director Peter Bramley reinterprets Ovid's philosophical chuckle in the face of suffering as the product of a stiff upper lip. We find ourselves in Blitz-era London, where a young cast gamely changes Ovid’s greatest hits into tart ’40s comic sketches. But a late-in-the-day attempt at moralizing chases away the show’s early sense of effortlessness, and we are left cherishing individual performances rather than the whole.—Helen Shaw

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