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One of William Shakespeare’s best known and best loved stories about the whimsies and caprices of love, Much Ado About Nothing kicks off the duet of summer shows staged by the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory for 2014.
Written near the middle of his career, Much Ado finds Shakespeare playing with some of his favorite themes: love, identity, and the absurdity that comes when sparks fly between lovers. Shakespeare brings all his considerable talents to bear, creating a play that bristles with sharp wit, driven by characters that hilariously discover something about themselves and the nature of love.
“Much of what we understand today as ‘romantic comedy’ in films and elsewhere owes a large debt to Much Ado,” says Factory Artistic Director Tom Delise. “Audiences have been laughing at and rooting for Benedick and Beatrice for more than 400 years, yet the appeal of their would-be romance remains as fresh and funny as ever.”
“Much Ado About Nothing is startlingly relevant today,” said Much Ado Director Chris Cotterman. “Shakespeare shows us life and love in a hyper-social society, where everyone is watching and everyone is judging. With today’s proliferation of social media and constant connectivity, we’ve put ourselves on display 24/7, to be watched and judged. This is our own world Shakespeare is showing us.”
Much Ado will be staged at three venues in July and August, including eight shows outdoors in the Meadow at the John’s Hopkins University Evergreen Museum and Library. (Full show schedule below.)
Much Ado is the second show of the Factory’s 2014 four-show Season of Malice & Misadventure. Measure for Measure is on tap for later this summer, with The Comedy of Errors, wrapping up the season this fall. The Factory recently completed its successful 14-show run of Richard III in April.
Pre-show entertainment begins about 30 minutes before the start of each show.
Friday July 18 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 7:30
Saturday July 19 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 7:30
Sunday July 20 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 4:00
Friday July 25 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 7:30
Saturday July 26 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 7:30
Sunday July 27 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 4:00
Saturday August 2 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 6:30
Sunday August 3 Meadow at Evergreen Museum and Library 4:00
Friday August 8 Boordy Vineyards* 7:30
Saturday August 9 St. Mary’s Community Center 7:30
Sunday August 10 St. Mary’s Community Center 4:00
(Saturday, August 2 will also feature a 4 p.m. performance of Measure for Measure)