Hearts pound, bosoms heave and occasionally a bodice gets ripped in “Lovers and Executioners,” a dramatic comedy about love and marriage performed by UNCG Theatre April 27-May 1.

This last production of the 2004-05 season is based on a 17th century French play by Antoine Jacob de Montfleury, adapted in English by John Strand in 1998. It blends laughs and swordplay with a serious examination of justice and revenge.

“When John Strand adapted the play, he breathed new life into the characters – they are real people with real problems,” said director Marc Williams, a third-year MFA student.

“I think audiences will get the feeling that they are watching something historical, something very much like Molière, but the freshness of Strand’s adaptation better serves a 21st century audience.”

Montfleury was a rival of the better-known Molière. While popular in its day, his play – “Le Femme, Juge et Partie” (“The Wife, Judge and Accuser”) – is no longer well known.

Calling the play “funny, grim, superb,” the Washington Post said, “Strand’s very free adaptation is like the best comedy, wild yet precise.”

The play will be staged in Taylor Theatre, 450 Tate Street, at 7 p.m. April 27 and 28; 8 p.m. April 29 and 30; and 2 p.m. May 1. It is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and non-UNCG students, $8 for groups of 10 or more, and $5 for UNCG students.

“Strand shows a real flair for writing verse comedy, embracing the rhyming couplet structure,” Williams said. “His ear for dialogue is remarkably keen; the verse is quick, witty, and very, very funny.”

To order tickets by phone, call (336) 334-4849 on weekdays between noon and 5 p.m. Tickets also are available at the University Box Office and one hour before curtain time at the Brown Building Theatre.

For more information, visit the Department of Theatre’s web site.