By Sean V. Lehosit
Forget about fairies, monsters and disguises. Bread & Circus Theatre’s (BCTCo) production of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” tackles something equally complex – relationships.
“This is a play which will resonate with anyone who has ever been in love, or watched friends fall in love or seen people trying to deny they love other people,” said Director Brent Alan Burington.
This comedy is different from other Shakespearean work, Burington said. Not only is it absent of the supernatural and gender hiding, but it speaks directly to our own time, he said.
“What it is, is simply a beautifully written, very funny, keenly observed look at the lives of a few people who have known each other for years, and a few who have just met,” Burington said.
This production almost never came about, according to Mimi Ninde, BCTCo publicity chair.
Originally scheduled for Metamorphosis Theater, Burington brought the play to BCTCo when it appeared Metamorphosis was dissolving.
“(This) is the last show of the summer, but not the last show in the BCTCo season,” Ninde said. “We felt since it’s the lightest of Shakespeare’s plays that it was perfect for some summer fun.”
According to Burington, this play is not a “message” show. It is only for entertainment.
“Shakespeare warns you of that in the title, much like ‘Seinfeld’, it is a show about nothing. But so wonderfully written that it does not matter,” he said.
Burington said audiences would recognize their family and friends in the roles on stage. Patrons are usually drawn toward the characters, Beatrice and Benedick, due to their sharp tongues and quick wit. Burington compares them to the romantic leads in the television show, “Castle.”
“Dogberry and Verges are hilarious, not the sort of people you might like to hang with, like Beatrice and Benedick, but the types you can watch and enjoy laughing at, very like the characters in modern television comedies like “Bing Bang Theory,” he said.
The cast consists of 15 actors, ranging from high school age to 73 years old. Seven of the performers are BCTCo veterans.
“There are highly trained, vastly experienced actors sharing the stage with young amateurs, one professional who will be leading a national tour later this fall and one member who is making her community theatre debut,” Burington said.
“Much Ado” will be performed at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays from Aug. 2-24 at Hoge Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2930 W. Broad St.
Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $6 for children 6 and under. For information or to buy tickets, visit www.bctco.org.
Upcoming auditions for October’s show:
BCTCo will hold auditions for its autumn production the psycho thriller, “Death Trap,” at 7 p.m. on Aug. 25 and 26 at Hoge Memorial Presbyterian.