Every dude needs a wingman like Antonio. In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Antonio agrees to loan his buddy Bassanio 3,000 ducats so he can properly chase his main squeeze Portia, a wealthy heiress. But in order to hook his friend up, Antonio has to borrow money from the cruel merchant Shylock, who demands a pound of Antonio's flesh if he can't pay up. Bassanio promises to pay his lender back, but Shylock really wants that pound of flesh. The Merchant of Venicewill be performed at Rice University by The Actors from the London Stage, five British Shakespearean artists who've performed in companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. We're guessing Rice's Hamman Hall, then, shouldn't be too much of a challenge. 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday, February 4. For tickets, call 713-348-7529 or visit www.rice.edu. $9 to $18.