The first day of the Flowertown Festival had ended, which I had attended earlier. The Smoke at the Lodge was underway and I could hear the music of the bands playing across the street. I was now back in town to attend a play at the James F. Dean Theatre called Much Ado About Nothing. I planned on enjoying a glass wine before the show at Accent on Wine. I was surprised to see there were numerous parking spaces available on Hutchinson Square. I made the short walk from where I parked to Accent on Wine. It was packed with patrons. I engaged in some brief small talk and savored a glass of Pinot Noir. I was now primed and ready for the evening.
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedic play by Shakespeare about two pairs of lovers with two different approaches to their relationships and the part their associates play in their success in love. Benedick's and Beatrice's relationship is somewhat antagonistic because of their outspoken disdain for love and marriage. Claudio and Hero are two young people who are rendered near speechless in their love for one another, but there is villainy a foot. This is pretty much the premise of the play. Now, present all of this with pirate's as the characters. But these are sophisticated pirates and you will hear no "arghs" or "shiver me timbers".
Shakespeare's plays can be very daunting with its voluminous dialogue and biblical dialect. It takes a little time to acclimate your ears to the vocabulary and to navigate through the interchange to understand what is unfolding and if you pay attention, in time it makes complete sense. The last time I heard this much Shakespeare, I was watching Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
The cast of Much Ado About Nothing handled the Shakespearean lingo eloquently. There were no noticeable hiccups or bumps in their elaborately interconnected conversations and with all the action and movement on stage throughout the play, it all came off without a glitch. If there were any glitches, the cast and crew covered them very nicely. Chrissy Eliason, stage manager, did an excellent job in managing its coordination.
The play has a very large cast and its successful presentation was due to all involved. Cast members, Ernie Eliason(Don Pedro), Brent Dorwart(Claudio), Shannon Marie Johnson(Innogen), David Hatch(Benedict), Emma Scot(Beatrice) and Tiffany Eliason(Hero), portrayal of their characters was engaging. The sparring scene where David Hatch and Emma Scott crossed blades was entertaining and well choreographed.
I particularly enjoyed Adrianne Dukes's(Dogberry) and Dody Jean Gaston's(Verges) collaboration on the constable and the constable's partner. They reminded me of Laurel and Hardy at times. Adrianne's dialogue was particularly tricky since it consisted of malapropisms, which is defined as the use of an incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance, also known as a Dogberryism, so named for this character. She was also amusing both in her acting and costume.
Not to leave unmentioned, Ernie Eliason and Robert Venne did a top notch job on the elaborate scenery with its crow's nest. The portrait was a nice touch. I raise a mug of grog in a toast to the whole cast, crew and director, Alex Smith, for their hard work and a pleasant evening.
Spend a night at the James F. Dean Theatre in the coming week. There isn't much you can do about nothing, but Much Ado About Nothing is worth the effort to come on down to the theater for an evening, especially if you like pirates and Shakespeare. For a unique night of fun, the Flowertown Players are offering a Dress-Like-A-Pirate Night on Thursday April 11th. Dress up like a pirate and receive $10 off at the door. Purchase tickets here.