Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s 23rd Annual Shakespeare in the Park production finds The Bard riffing on romance’s lush seductive powers, and director Denice Hicks has gathered 19 players, nine of them pros, 10 apprentices — including a violin-playing Cupid — all adorned in designer June Kingsbury’s birds-and-bees-inspired costumes. Among the ensemble are familiar local faces such as Eric Pasto-Crosby and Brenda Sparks, as well as some area talent making their NSF debuts, including Shannon L. Hoppe, Joseph Robinson, Nettie Kraft and Ricardo Puerta. Hicks has trimmed the original text of the play by about a third, which should streamline a love story in which, says the director, “love is the bad guy.” (Isn’t it always?) Tom McBryde has composed original music based on 1890s themes, which will be performed live each evening. Erica Edmonson designed the set. This popular event, an established Nashville tradition, is free as always, but the festival continues to seek donations to meet its production costs. Modest cash contributions will be accepted at the show; visit nashvilleshakes.org/sponsorship.htm or write email@example.com for info on more formal giving.