There’s something about having William Shakespeare forced down your throat at an early age that really helps you develop a permanent distaste for the Bard’s work. Which probably explains why, ever since a certain sixth-grade English teacher convinced my mother that I needed to spend less time playing Shinobi and more time studying my Montagues and Capulets, Romeo and Juliet has always been No. 1 on my Elizabethan-era shit list. Only now, 13 years after my run-in with Ms. Gibson, has the Tiny Ninja Theater Company found a way to make Shakespeare’s poetic genius speak to the black-mask-wearing, nunchaku-swinging, star-throwing assassin within me that never grew up. Director Dov Weinstein commands Chris Head and Melanie Hipchikz—a pair of inch-high, anime-eyed dime-store figurines—who, supported by a cast of countless plastic ninjas, play out Shakespeare’s all-too-familiar tale of star-crossed love across a briefcase-sized Verona. Toys! Ninjas! Seppuku! Had Shakespeare been like this in grade school, I might actually have done my homework. Tiny Ninja Theater Company’s Romeo and Juliet runs in conjunction with the Warehouse Theater’s “Warehouse Comedy Festival” tonight at 7:30 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the Warehouse Theater, 1021 7th St. NW. $12. (202) 783-3933. (Matthew Borlik)

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