Much Ado About Nothing
What the Critics Said:
“Much agog over stellar close to Marin Shakes' summer season
Saving the best for last, Marin Shakespeare Company gives audiences a delightful ride in its final '08 production, Much Ado About Nothing….Darren Bridgett and Cat Thompson, armed with Shakespeare's clever lines and a great deal of charm, carry off this battle of the sexes beautifully. She strides across the stage like a '30s movie heroine (the production updates events to the screwball era), a hard-boiled woman who uses words to hide her soft yolk.
He blusters and sputters, maintaining his warrior's posture until the moment he melts like a warm chocolate. The couple's well-choreographed mating dance is at the heart of MSC's engaging production that has audiences melting in pleasure….Schmidt is the best kind of modern scoundrel, attractive and youthful, one who has fully embraced his dark side,
Director Robert Currier has assembled an appealing cast for this late summer romp. William Elsman makes Don Pedro into such an alpha male that when he proposes to Beatrice, seemingly in jest, he's quite prepared to take her on. Elsman, seen earlier this summer as the revengeful Salieri in Amadeus, shows a broad comic streak.”
– Lee Brady, Pacific Sun
“Cat Thompson plays a fiery Beatrice—no intentional reference to her beautifully coifed hair—too intelligent and too heavily armed with cynicism to willingly step into the snares of love….Thompson creates a Beatrice so dazzling that even the most prudent suitor would forget to sign his portion of the pre-nuptial contract.
Darren Bridgett who has practically grown up on Marin Stages—as an actor that is—gets measurably better every season: he stands straddling the stage: one foot in comedy and one foot in acting; and he does remarkably well in both domains. Darren's delivery—highly animated, densely punctuated with comic facial expressions and physical comedy—brings the audience to an understanding of the richness of Shakespeare's humor regardless of the degree of fluency one enjoys in Elizabethan English. Darren is arguably the best comedian north of the Golden Gate and south of Prince Rupert Island.
Looking at the polish of this production, it is hard to believe that Shakespeare survives on a shoestring. The secret is resourcefulness: artistic directors Robert and Lesley Currier are magnets for earnest talent.
Michael Berg—the costume designer—is one of the more conspicuous talents in the crew….The Set Design, by Bruce Lackovic, is befitting the opulent Italian Villa it portrays: then too, it is rugged enough to double as a Jungle Jim: half the cast has the opportunity to climb on his Rose Pergola; Darren Bridgett swings inverted by one foot from this Pergola, and yet—to everyone's relief—its budges nary an inch.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is quality entertainment that is both edifying and hilarious; you will not find such a winning combination anywhere: the ballet, an opera, the drag races, kickboxing nor a tractor pull. So drop the TV remote and bring the kids out for audience friendly Shakespeare that the whole family will enjoy.”
– Jeff Smith, Marinscope
“Marin Shakespeare Company can look forward to the group's annual hiatus buoyed by the warm reception being given its bright and inventive production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’…While "Much Ado" isn't ranked among Shakespeare's greatest works, when done well it is certainly a felicitous way to spend a late summer evening. As if sensing the opportunity, Marin Shakespeare Company doesn't disappoint.
Charles Brousse – Marin Independent Journal