Fresh 'Much Ado About Nothing' is giddy with love at APT

Posted June 27, 2024

Muchado2024 web1

Lindsay Christians, The Cap Times

Benedick, that legendary Shakespearean enemy-to-lover, sounds like a girl whose Tinder date just texted her back.

“There’s a double meaning in that,” he says when Beatrice comes, irritably, to call him in to dinner. “If I do not love her, I am a fool.” He sighs. “I will go get her picture.”

A scene or two later, it’s Beatrice with the giddy grin, like a tween who just heard from her friends that her crush likes her too.

“Benedick, love on!” she squeals, swearing to tame her “wild heart.”

It’s enough to make any “Bridgerton” fan swoon. “Much Ado About Nothing,” Shakespeare’s most literary romance, enjoys a boldly colorful new production this season in the Hill Theatre. It runs in repertory at American Players Theatre through Sept. 29.

APT last put up “Much Ado” a decade ago, so a quick refresher on the story: on the coast of Sicily, a troop of soldiers returns from war and posts up at the house of the local governor, Leonato (Jim Ridge, expressive and fatherly).

Soldier Claudio has fallen for Hero, Leonato’s daughter. Soldier-prince Don Pedro (a regal Rasell Holt), has beef with his dastardly half-brother Don John (Casey Hoekstra), who literally says “I am a plain-dealing villain” before stirring up trouble between Claudio and Hero’s love match.

Continue reading here