Theater

Or What You Will, The Third

When: Through April 21, 8 p.m.

Shakespeare's Richard III is not a comedy. It's the tale of an egocentric, awful man who kills relatives, women, children and the marginalized to gain and then keep absolute power. As such, it seems an unusual choice for a crowd pleasing, choose-your-own-adventure romp.

Nonetheless, the history play is the inspiration for Or What You Will, The Third, the new production from the Poor Monsters theater company. As director Katy Keating explains, it was the obvious choice for the company's entry in this year's Shake-38 festivities.

"We chose Richard II1 partly for the pun of the name; this is our third time doing a choose-your-own-adventure show," Keating offers. "And in this political climate, with a leader who doesn't always have his constituents best interests at heart, we felt this one was a great allegory. Our Richard will be very familiar, with recognizable tendencies and phrases," she hints.

Or What You Will, The Third is performed at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (April 12 to 14) and Wednesday through Saturday (April 18 to 21) at the Chapel (6238 Alexander Drive; www.poormonsters.com). Tickets are $9, but the Thursday, April 12, show is free as part of this year's Shake-38 Festival (www.sfstl.com).

Paul Friswold

Price: $9