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“You, minion, are too saucy!”

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is widely believed to be Shakespeare’s first play. It’s also one of his best. The core elements are simple: two men, one woman, and the antics that result from being struck by Cupid’s arrow. Shakespeare could always whip up some good doubling and cross-dressing, but he was also unsurpassed in his ability to set complex plots in motion specifically to set up joke after hilarious joke. In this case, it reveals some wonderful passages on friendship, competition, and love — no matter who’s wearing the pants.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Thu., Fri., and Sat. at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. at 2 p.m.; Wed. at 7:30 p.m. Shakespeare and Company, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. (413) 637-3353, shakespeare.org.

— Hunter Styles