tells the very original story of two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, who run an actors’ troupe in the time of William Shakespeare (a.k.a. the 1590s). Jam-packed with silliness, songs and characters, the national tour is coming in courtesy of BBVA Compass Broadway at the Hobby. Shakespeare is all the rage, which makes it tough for the Bottom brothers to secure backing for their own efforts. Autumn Hurlbert plays Portia, the Puritan young woman who becomes Nigel’s love interest. “It’s more of an homage to characters within Shakespeare’s plays,” she says. “The best part is no one knows anything about Shakespeare other than what he wrote. So it’s fun to create this rock-star modern persona of Shakespeare.” Nick steals money to see a soothsayer and, after asking what the next big play will be, is told it’s a musical. The brothers get busy but don’t exactly follow a straightforward path. Shakespeare himself gets into the competition (appearing as “Toby Belch”) when he hears that the brothers are trying to steal his play. You don’t have to know Shakespeare to recognize all the characters and allusions, but if you do, Hurlbert says Easter eggs abound.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Through June 11. 800 Bagby. For information, call 713-315-2525 or visit thehobbycenter.org
. $30 to $90.
Mixing fact and theatrical fiction,