Considered one of Shakespeare’s problem plays because of the tricky moral dilemma it presents, Measure for Measure, in the Fiasco Theater’s production now at Long Wharf, has been resolved with equal amounts of simplicity and fun. Instead of a weighed-down dark and dreary judgment play on moral ethics, the Fiasco Theater ensemble has lifted this play to one with humorous stock characters and laugh-out-loud twists and turns.
Of course it is no laughing matter that the Duke’s temporary Deputy condemns a man to death for getting his fiancée pregnant. The Deputy wants to use Claudio as an example to the people that immoral actions will not be tolerated. He has already closed down houses of prostitution and is now – well, he’s now holier than thou. Even though Claudio intends to marry his intended, the Deputy won’t budge from his position. But wait, here comes a twist, which introduces the big problem.