Faked death? Wild romance? Mistaken identity? What a farce.
If it all seems overwhelming, then it must be “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Garden Grove-based Shakespeare Orange County is capping off its 2012 season with the Bard’s witty “battles of the sexes” farce after the dramatic “Richard III” and the lustful “Venus and Adonis.”
“We did a tragedy, we did a poem and now we’re doing a comedy, obviously for balance,” said Thomas Bradac, Founding Artistic Producing director and director for the play.
According to Shakespeare Orange County, the reason this play is so popular is that it doesn’t rely on ridiculous situations to get its themes, rather, the themes come from relationships between people.
“‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, and we’ve cast the production with two seasoned vets, Michael Nehring and Evelyn Carol Case, in the principal roles of Beatrice and Benedick,” said Bradac.
“The play is about gossip and the effects that it has, positively and negatively, on those around us. Lives are altered, relationships dissolve and reform and it’s full of love, romance and the bungled language of Dogberry. Before there was Mrs. Malaprop, Shakespeare’s Dogberry was the original language mangler.”
This particular production will be adapted into a 1920’s Italian setting.
In “Much Ado,” Hero and her cousin Beatrice, to be played by Evelyn Carol Case, welcome home soldiers who also happen to be friends.
Hero quickly falls in love with the handsome young soldier Claudio. All the while, Beatrice is busy exchanging barbs with Benedick, to be played by Michael Nehring, and both of them think they will never marry.
A plot quickly ensues to trick Benedick and Beatrice into discovering their love for one another, but it goes terribly wrong.
Hero’s fiancé comes to believe she has been unfaithful to him and vows to shame her.
The obvious solution is for Hero to fake her death until the whole ordeal can be sorted out.
This levity to end the season plays from Aug. 16 to September 1 at the Garden Grove Festival Amphitheater at 12762 Main St.
Show time is at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and tickets can be purchased at the amphitheater box office or online at www.shakespeareoc.org .