Much Ado About Everything (bagels)

A fitting end to an evening of Shakespeare in the Park.  We bought five "everything" and two blueberry bagels.  Thank goodness H & H is open 24/7.

Somehow it escaped my notice that Sam Waterston is in this production of Much Ado.  As I don't care much for criminal law, I don't watch Law and Order.  He plays Leonato.  Sam's daughter, Elisabeth Waterston, plays Hero, Leonato's daughter.  While the casting seems suspiciously designed to induce me into a diabetic coma, father and daughter really do act comfortably as - father and daughter.  It works.

Alexander seemed to enjoy Broadway veteran Brian Murray, as Dogberry, the most.  The audience gave him an acute dose of applause, too.  His acting and delivery remind me of a conversation I had once with Catherine, about how the British care about the cadence in language.  We Americans don't tend to care much for cadence.  Murray's inflections in language, his subtle "umphs" and "aah ooh ohs" that climb to take on a life of their own - are genius.

Kristen Johnston, who plays Beatrice, might be familiar to those of you who saw Austin Powers:  The Spy Who Shagged Me .  Kristen was Ivana Humpalot.   She also later appeared in Goldmember.  Kristen is a Public Theater repeater.  She appeared in Twelfth Night two years ago, a production in which Julia Stiles, disappointingly, was cast.

Midway into the play, a great blue heron decided to fly in and sit on top of a stage prop.   It rained a little during one dialogue scene.  And there were many lucifers in the bushes in the Park outside the theater.

According to the Playbill about this production's period setting:

"Much Ado About Nothing takes place in Messina, in Sicily under the shadow of Mt. Edna.  Earthquakes and volcanoes have shaken the island for centuries and foreign armies have continually vied for its control.  In the wake of the First World War, Sicily is rife with politicaly volatility and experimentation.  The anarchic juvenilia of the Italian Futurists as well as women's desire to vote challenge traditional institutions and norms.  These new ideas feel quite remote from the old world estate of Messina's governor, Leonato, where he lives with his eligible daughter, Hero, and his spinster niece, Beatrice."

OK, well, I missed the summer SitP when Glenn Close and Natalie Portman shared the same stage.   I want the big kahuna.  I can hope for next year.

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