The Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC has an annual Free for All event -- a play from the previous season for free for a couple of weekends. This summer they put on All's Well that Ends Well. I love Shakespeare unabashedly, so a free play by the bard is a great way to spend a night. It's enough fun to balance out hours of waiting in humidity to pick up tickets. The Shakespeare Theatre puts on incredible shows, so the acting, sets, costumes, and all were impressive.
All's Well that Ends Well is just a really weird play. The end is not quite the resolution you'd hope for/expect. Maybe a large dose of irony would explain it best. Or perhaps the point is that it's a backwards play. All's Well flips all the conventions: comedies end with weddings, but the wedding is in act one instead, the love-lorn woman pursuses the man who must be wooed, then no one appears to be in love at the end. Which is odd, well done oddness, but oddness all the same. To its credit it brings up fascinating questions about gender roles, marriage, and fate vs self direction that are still interesting a few hundred years later. Plus it has some good quotes like:
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”