Friday, April 23, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing

Glendale, April 23—
We're in Glendale to see the spring season of A Noise Within, the Equity repertory company we've subscribed to for the last several years. In four days you can catch three plays, the first half of the season in November, the second about this time of year. Shakespeare, recent American plays, European standards (Ibsen, Chekhov), most years a French classic (Molière, Racine), often an American standard.

This time it's Shakespeare, Odets, and Synge. I'll write in more detail after having seen all three: tonight we saw Much Ado About Nothing in a very entertaining production, set in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Sicily, with a Katherine Hepburny Beatrice (Torri Higginson) and a curiously Ray Millandish Benedick (JD Cullum) and a fine supporting cast, neatly directed by Michael W. Murray.

It's late and I don't want to look up the links or write in detail about the performance. Or, for that matter, the play: I've always had trouble with it before, and it occurs to me that's because most productions I've seen have been overladen with shtick and/or concept. This was a nice clean interpretation, speaking the lines clearly without apology. Oh: and the clowns were wonderful, especially Mark Bramhall's Dogberry and Mitchell Edmonds's Verges. I'm glad we saw it.

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