From the very beginning, when I saw the amazing sets on the stage for the Taming of the Shrew (From the Marin Shakespeare Company) , I was brought into the world of the play. It was a picturesque beachside building with vine-covered trellises, a little deck, and barrels outside lying around as though on an old wharf around a picnic table. On the other side of the stage, painted waves seemed to lick at the old-fashioned pirate ship-- complete with a crow's nest and gangplank. You might be wondering, Um, are we talking about the same play here? The taming of the shrew is, like, a Shakespeare play. You sound like you're describing the sets for some pirate movie!
You're right! This version of Shakespeare's play, the Taming of the Shrew was set pirate style right down to changes in the script. I thought that it went a little bit far in being silly, but overall it was good. For example, a character called Biondello would come on every time doing some circus trick. First it was tall stilts with little duck feet, then hula hooping while playing a guitar on his head, and then a unicycle...
I also didn't really like one other thing: the play revolves around a belief that women are inferior, and they should be traded and trained. The play is about a man who says that his obedient, humble daughter can only be married when someone marries his nasty, disloyal daughter; and the struggle over the nice girl, and the "taming" of the mean one; that followed.
In general I liked it, though. The acting was great, including funny mannerisms and silly additions. One character would gaze & point at the sky fondly while magical music played each time he said his love's name. :-)