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Lisa

Lisa Austin, TX, United States Member Since 2008
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "A wonderful production of a great p..."

    Overall

    I found it impossible not to laugh out loud while listening to this witty comedy of manners. I've seen the play many times, but have never seen a production more enjoyable than listening to this performance. Bravo!

    More

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (463)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (366)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  1. The Importance of Being E...
  2. .

A Peek at Michael's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
2776
 
Walnut Creek, CA, United States 382 REVIEWS / 1372 ratings Member Since 2002 842 Followers / Following 9
 
Michael's greatest hits:
  • The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    "Impressive Collection of Shaw"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hesitated getting a long collection of plays in audio, concerned it might be too dry or boring. This collection of eight Shaw plays was performed wonderfully and was a joy to listen to. It turns out a collection of great plays is a really nice choice for a long drive with the family. These plays are still witty and penetrating. The casting is excellent with different enough voices to allow the characters to be clear. There are a few cases of stage-craft that you lose in audio-only; nevertheless the experience is well worth the time. This was the first collection of audible plays I have ordered, but having enjoyed it so much, I just ordered several more collections from the same theater company.

  • Seven Classic Plays

    "Not Great Audible Theater"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although this is not a bad recording of several good plays, it was far from one of my favorite compilations. From the publisher’s summary they were attempting to produce “lively theatrics enhanced” performances. Hum. For me most of these plays seemed significantly overdone. My favorite of these plays was An Enemy of the People which was pretty good. Still overacted, this play survived the overacting pretty well. Medea was my least favorite. It seemed wildly over acted and did not resonate emotionally at all. The Tempest and Camille were OK, but far from stellar. I found The Imaginary Invalid and Uncle Vanya pretty boring. I had just heard Arms and the Man from the LA Theater Works (LATW) Shaw Collection, and this version blanched in comparison. It did not even seem like the same play. The LATW version was snappy, lively, and witty. This version fell completely flat.

  • The Molière Collection

    "Mildly Amusing"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These plays were mildly amusing, but far from great. All these plays were preformed from translations to English rhymes (translating verse is very difficult), and the rhymes often seemed both predicable and forced and took me out of the flow. Some of the plays were so blandly performed that much of the humor was lost. The School for Wives and Tartuffe were the best of these six, primarily because they were the most broadly played. I found the repeating loops of barnyard or crowd background sounds completely unnecessary and distracting. In this kind of broad comedy facial expressions and stage work play an important part which is lost in audible format. This kind of bawdy humor can be quite fun if you have a women in one hand and a drink in another, but while driving they were not the thing.

Michael

Michael NEWBURY PARK, CA, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2011
HELPFUL VOTES
16
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REVIEWS
87
13
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
2
0
  • "A master"

    2 of 2 helpful votes

    Riveting, moving performances. Wonderful works performed by various groups. If you like theater, you will love these. So well done I feels like I was present at the performance.

    More

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"

What's Trending in Drama:

  • 4.3 (463 ratings)
    The Importance of Being Earnest (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (463)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (366)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • 4.3 (50 ratings)
    Hedda Gabler (






UNABRIDGED) by Henrik Ibsen Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, Michael Maloney, full cast

    Hedda Gabler

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Henrik Ibsen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson, Michael Maloney, full cast
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Hedda Gabler, the daughter of a deceased General, marries dull George Tesman and foresees a life of middle class tedium stretching ahead when they return from their honeymoon. Increasingly, she is drawn into the clutches of her admirer, Judge Brack, who seeks to establish a ménage à trois. Then the brilliant but dissolute Eilert Lovborg, a former flame, arrives to rival her husband for an academic post.

    Brenda says: "Hedda"
  • 4.4 (48 ratings)
    An Ideal Husband (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Alfred Molina, Jim Norton, Yeardley Smith

    An Ideal Husband

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 39 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, and others
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    A tender love story, a serpentine villainess, a glittering setting in London society, and a showering of Wildean witticism are only a few of the reasons why this play has enjoyed hugely successful revivals in London, in New York, and on the silver screen. This 1895 drama is eerily prescient, as it examines the plight of a promising politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Oscar Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us.

    Katherine Michaels says: "Almost perfect"
  • 4.4 (39 ratings)
    The George Bernard Shaw Collection  by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Davison, Kate Burton, Roger Rees

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"
  •  
  • 4.5 (21 ratings)
    Othello (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser

    Othello

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    This widely studied play is one of the "best sellers" of the Shakespeare canon. This production is the sixth Shakespeare play in the series undertaken by Naxos AudioBooks in conjunction with Cambridge University Press.

    H. M. Behrens says: "vocals strong - each character easy to track"
  • 4.3 (15 ratings)
    Major Barbara (






UNABRIDGED) by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Kate Burton, Roger Rees, J. B. Blanc, Matt Gaydos, Brian George, Hamish Linklater, Henri Lubatti

    Major Barbara

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Kate Burton, Roger Rees, J. B. Blanc, and others
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Barbara is a major in the Salvation Army - but she's also the daughter of Andrew Undershaft, a man who's made millions from the sale of weapons of war. The real battle, however, rages between between the devilish father and his idealistic daughter as they answer the question: does salvation come through faith or finance? This sparkling comedy traverses family relations, religion, ethics and politics - as only Shaw, the master dramatist, can!

  • 4.4 (12 ratings)
    Arms and the Man (






UNABRIDGED) by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Anne Heche, Jeremy Sisto, Teri Garr

    Arms and the Man

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 33 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Anne Heche, Jeremy Sisto, Teri Garr
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    This witty masterpiece combines high comedy with social commentary as it deflates romantic misconceptions of love and warfare. First produced on the London stage in 1894, Arms and the Man is one of the most frequently acted and studied of Shaw's plays.

  • Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street Dozen (Dramatized)  by Arthur Conan Doyle Narrated by John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Orson Welles

    Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street Dozen (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Arthur Conan Doyle
    • Narrated By John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Orson Welles
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (86)

    Here are 12 acclaimed, exciting, fully dramatized performances of Conan Doyle classics. It's elementary that any Conan Doyle fan will want this splendid set of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, 12 timeless tales performed as radio theater and linked by violin-music interludes.

    R. Compton says: "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be proud"
  • The Importance of Being Earnest (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (463)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (366)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, Bob Peck, Norman Rodway

    Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.

  • Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Arnold Weinstein

    Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative

    • ORIGINAL (32 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Arnold Weinstein
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    The major texts of Western culture are a gateway to wisdom that can widen your views on self and society in enduring ways. And now you can examine its most important works - whether drama, poetry, or narrative - in this series of 64 penetrating lectures that reveal astonishing common ground.

    Saud says: "Could have been more"
  •  
  • Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck: Theatre Classics  by Henrik Ibsen, Stephen Mulrine Narrated by Janet Fullerlove, Sean Connelly, Denny Hodge, Laurence Saunders, Jane Lerwill

    Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck: Theatre Classics

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs)
    • By Henrik Ibsen, Stephen Mulrine
    • Narrated By Janet Fullerlove, Sean Connelly, Denny Hodge, and others
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The idealistic son of a wealthy businessman seeks to expose his father's duplicity and to free his childhood friend from the lies on which his happy home life is based. When skeletons are brought out of the closet, the foundations of the Ekdal family are torn apart - with drastic consequences.

    Die Falknerin says: "1884: Herring salad and tragedy in Denmark"
  • Much Ado About Nothing (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Full Cast

    Much Ado About Nothing

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A Classic recording of Shakespeare's well-loved comedy. Cast including renowned Shakespearean actors John Gielgud, Peggy Ashcroft and Gary Watson.

  • A Raisin in the Sun: CliffsNotes (






UNABRIDGED) by Rosetta James, B.A. Narrated by Kate Rudd

    A Raisin in the Sun: CliffsNotes

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Rosetta James, B.A.
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (1)

    The CliffsNotes study guide on Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun supplements the original literary work, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the work, a graphical character map, critical commentaries, expanded glossaries, and a comprehensive index, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the work.

  • Seven Classic Plays (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, Alexandre Dumas, more Narrated by Full Cast

    Seven Classic Plays

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and others
    • Narrated By Full Cast
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    Now, for the first time in audio, Blackstone presents seven great plays in one volume: Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Dumas' Camille, Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Shaw's Arms and the Man, and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. These productions illustrate the development of European drama from ancient times to the threshold of the modern theater.

    S. N. C. Siegel says: "Badly Done Plays"
  •  
  • Henry IV Part One (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by The Marlowe Society

    Henry IV Part One

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By The Marlowe Society
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The second of Shakespeare's tetralogy that deals with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V. Henry IV, Part One depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur's battle at Homildon against the Douglas late in 1402 and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403. From the start it has been an extremely popular play both with the public and the critics and this full cast performance is by The Marlowe Society.

  • Ring for Jeeves (






ABRIDGED) by P. G. Wodehouse Narrated by Martin Jarvis

    Ring for Jeeves

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By P. G. Wodehouse
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    We find ourselves in the austerity of the 1950s, when England's aristocracy was feeling the pinch. Bertie Wooster has gone to a residential self-help school to learn how to darn his socks. Until he re-emerges, Jeeves has signed up with Bill Rowcester (pronounced Roaster), an earl who is failing to make ends meet in trade, and yearning to sell his stately home, which has charm and damp in equal measure. In his new environment Jeeves is required to exert his mammoth brain to what would be breaking point for any normal intellect.

  • A Doll's House  by Henrik Ibsen Narrated by Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, Jeannie Elias, Gregory Itzin, Jobeth Williams

    A Doll's House

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Henrik Ibsen
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, and others
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (23)

    A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.

    Jayne says: "Very Interesting!"
  • The George Bernard Shaw Collection  by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Davison, Kate Burton, Roger Rees

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"
  • Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter

    Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The brave warrior Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth, his wife, to slay good King Duncan and seize the throne of Scotland for himself. Macbeth achieves his ambition, but one murder proves not to be enough as he desperately attempts to eliminate all who might threaten his ill-gotten power. Descending into paranoia, Macbeth achieves his ambition but ravages his soul.

  • Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, Bob Peck, Norman Rodway

    Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.

  • Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester

    Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    At the heart of this tragic history is one of Shakespeare's most noble characters, the statesman Brutus, who is caught in a devastating conflict between private affection and public duty.

    Julius Caesar has become the most powerful man in the Rome. Does his power now threaten the very existence of the Republic itself? A conspiracy is hatched, one that will have fatal consequences not only for Caesar and the conspirators but for the future history of the ancient world.

  • Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, Greg Wise, Alan Howard

    Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The young king of Navarre and three of his courtiers have vowed to lock themselves away for three years of study and fasting, and to forswear the company of women for this period. No sooner is their vow made than it is tested, however, as the princess of France and three of her ladies arrive in Navarre on a diplomatic mission. The young men fall instantly and hopelessly in love, and the tension between their vow and their passion forms the subject of this charming and sparkling early comedy.

  •  
  • King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins

    King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    King John of England is pitted against the united powers of France, Brittany, Austria, and the Papacy. Will England be destroyed by his fatal indecision? As alliances are made, broken, and remade, the paranoid and erratic John reveals his weakness and reliance on those around him - including his powerful mother, Queen Elinor, and Faulconbridge, the cynical and witty bastard son of the dead King Richard I.

  • Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, Suzanne Bertish, Stephen Mangan, Ron Cook

    Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the court as infants. Posthumus, meanwhile, has been convinced by the villainous Iachimo that Imogen is unchaste and agrees to a test of her faithfulness.

  • Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet

    Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Telling his followers he is leaving the city on affairs of state, the Duke of Vienna appoints the puritanical Angelo to govern in his absence. Will Angelo prove as virtuous as he seems once power is in his hands? Roaming the city disguised as a friar, the duke looks on as Angelo's lust for the virtuous Isabella sweeps him into the corruption he has so sternly condemned in others. The duke's manipulation at last produces a happy ending for this dark comedy, with its brilliant exploration of the themes of justice and mercy.