We love when repertory companies, whose duty it is to cycle through Shakespeare's entire body of work, tackle the "tough" plays that have been deemed by modern minds to be too controversial/un-PC/racist: namely Merchant of Venice, which CalShakes did a marvelous production of a few years back; Titus Andronicus, the ridiculously violent early tragedy which CalShakes tackled earlier this season with some ironic success; and Taming of the Shrew, the indisputably sexist comedy which rounds out CalShakes' 2011 season. While director Shana Cooper does an admirable job of modernizing what she can, and giving Katherine, the "shrew," a sense of autonomy, the script ends up undercutting her efforts before the last act is through. It's a tough job trying to soften a tough play, without outright rewriting it.