Los Angeles Theater Preview: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Independent Shakespeare Co.)

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by Frank Arthur on August 4, 2015

in Theater-Los Angeles

AND NOW, WITH FURTHER ADO

Not only is it one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, but Much Ado About Nothing contains a favorite character: Dogberry. This bumbling constable arrives much later in the play than the famous sparring couple—Beatrice and Benedick—and adds an enormous amount of comic energy to a play that is already awash in lovemaking, spying, matchmaking, revenge, and more. I would also recommend this as a great introductory play for those who find Shakespeare—shall we say—challenging. Plus, the warring couple at the heart of the play, both of whom are being duped into thinking that they are in love with each other, have dialogue worthy of the best from The Tamng of the Shrew‘s Petruchio and Kate. Plus there’s heroines, villains, music, and more.

Theater Preview: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Independent Shakespeare Co. in Griffith Park, Los Angeles)

Independent Shakespeare Co., which offers fantastic productions for free in Griffith Park, is opening Much Ado About Nothing this week, so dress warmly, bring a blanket or low-backed chair to sit on, add a few munchies, and get ready for a summer night you won’t soon forget.

Theater Preview: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Independent Shakespeare Co. in Griffith Park, Los Angeles)

The 1603 idyllic Mediterranean countryside is being shifted to the end of WWII. It is the summer of 1945 in Messina. Don Pedro and his battalion are enjoying a much-needed respite in Leonato’s bomb-riddled villa. While awaiting the nuptials of Claudio and Hero, Don Pedro and his men amuse themselves by playing Cupid between Beatrice, Hero’s witty and sharp-tongued cousin, and confirmed bachelor-for-life Benedick. As the wine flows in Leonato’s villa, discord emerges, judgment is clouded, and passions are set ablaze by the most powerful intoxicant of all: love.

Theater Preview: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Independent Shakespeare Co. in Griffith Park, Los Angeles)

Comments director Jeffrey Wienckowski, “Much Ado will fill the Park with laughter, music and dancing. But in this roaring party there is a sudden turn where things get very real and very dark. It is this dichotomy that allows clownish physical comedy to live right alongside very real dramatic tension. This works perfectly with ISCs trademark spontaneous style that always expertly walks that line between comedy and drama. The play will feature music of the 1940s as well as original compositions by Chris Porter. The 1940s gives an important backdrop of battle to the play, and it also instills a sense of nostalgia and romance. [Ultimately], Much Ado is a very human story about the fallibility of lovesick hearts.”

Theater Preview: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Independent Shakespeare Co. in Griffith Park, Los Angeles)

photos by Ed Krieger

Much Ado About Nothing
Independent Shakespeare Co.
Old Zoo in Griffith Park
Thurs – Sun at 7
ends on August 30, 2015
Summer Shakespeare productions are FREE
for more info, visit www.iscla.org

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