Much Ado About Nothing
“I have seen many productions of this idealistic comedy but this is the wildest version yet.….Robert Currier's production is exemplary in all details. There is a lot of slapstick between Darren Bridget and Cat Thompson. Both actors are standouts and provide much of the production's best comic moments.
Bridget plays Benedick as a bundle of inconsistency, his haughtiness and wit battling his various neuroses and romantic idealism for control. In an attempt to conceal his presence from his friends, he resorts to coming into the audience and sipping wine from an unsuspected spectator. It is a hilarious scene and he brings down the house with his antics.
In one scene, Cat Thompson walks around with a half gallon bottle of gin, drinking very liberally from the bottle. These two actors bring an implausible, spontaneous chemistry to their sparring, emotional relationship.
There is also a madcap scene with the bumbling constable Dogberry, played hilariously by Michael Ray Wisely, in the second act. His little troupe of law enforcement officers are strictly out of a Monty Python sketch.
Christopher Maikish's Claudio is wonderful, a shy, inexperienced boy genuinely horrified at what he sees as Hero's betrayal. He even sings a melancholy love song in the second act. Khamara Pettus as Hero gives a lovely performance….William Elsman gives a commanding performance as Prince Don Pedro of Aragon. Ryan Schmidt manages to give the one-dimensional villain Don John a clinically depressive motivation for his actions on stage.”
Richard Connema – Talkin' Broadway
“Marin Shakespeare's outdoor production was set in the romantic period of the 1920s to 1930s featuring costumes and music from the era with leisure activities including cocktail parties, tennis and golf, providing the many backdrops for playing out scenes….
With accomplished musicians on hand, Billie Cox seized the opportunity to write music perfectly suited to their instruments--a hammered dulcimer, violin and guitar--with a variety of popular music styles from the era between the wars.
Robert Currier directs Much Ado as a screwball comedy with imaginative bits of business throughout.…Cynthia Pepper's choreography of the dances was delightful.”
– Flora Lynn Isaacson