What in tarnation! Peter Kellogg and David Friedman took Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure" and reimagined elements of that comedy as a musical set in the American West.
Here's how their "Desperate Measures" plot shakes out: Cowboy Johnny Blood is, as his name would suggest, a bit of a hothead. He is going to be hanged for killing someone in a bar fight, until his sister intervenes. The sister - who happens to be a novice nun - asks the governor for leniency. He agrees to grant a pardon, but only if the sister sleeps with him.
A surreptitious Shakespearean scheme evolves: When she is supposed to meet the governor in a darkened room, the sister plans to switch places with a saloon girl.
"Desperate Measures" - which was an official selection of the 2006 New York Musical Theater Festival - opens Wednesday at the Spirit of Broadway Theater.
A Norwich note: Spirit of Broadway is marking 15 years in downtown, so it's admitting Norwich residents to the show for $15 on Community Night on June 28 is Community Night.
- KRISTINA DORSEY
"Desperate Measures," Spirit of Broadway Theater, Chestnut Street, Norwich; opens Wednesday and runs through July 29; 7 p.m. Wed. and Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; $30 ($15 high school students); (860) 886-2378.