Another season, another work of inspired musical lunacy from the Troubadour Theater Company. This time around, the gifted troupe known for signature mash-ups of theater classics and iconic pop music has nearly surpassed itself with “Two Gentlemen of Chicago,” an uproarious mix of Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona” and the 1970s and ’80s hits of rock band Chicago.
In Shakespeare’s earliest romantic comedy, a love triangle derails the best buddy bromance between Valentine and Proteus of Verona. Proteus falls for Valentine’s lady, Silvia, after following his friend to Milan and leaving his sworn love Julia behind. He then thwarts Valentine and Sylvia’s elopement by betraying their plan to her father, the Duke.
Banished from Milan, Valentine joins a band of other outcasts in the forest; Julia, in male disguise, discovers Proteus’ perfidy, but Silvia remains faithful to Valentine, despite Proteus’ refusal to take no for an answer. Thurio, the Duke’s choice for Silvia, doesn’t stand a chance. Shakespeare’s hasty and implausible happy ending ensues.