Exclusive: Much Ado About Nothing in Griffith Park, Reserved Section for Goldstar Members
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The last date listed for Much Ado About Nothing was Sunday August 29, 2010 / 7:00pm.
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Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from JonnyG.
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I have supported Independent Shakespeare for several years now, and I have always been impressed with their work, particularly with their limited budget, unique performance space, and, heck, with Shakespeare, who's difficult to get right under the best of circumstances.
Much Ado is the first disappointment for me for ISC. I was rather shocked to see such talented and well-trained actors dumb down Shakespeare for a few laughs.
I believe if you can't find the comedy within Shakespeare, you're not working hard enough. On the night I attended, the majority of the laughs came from schtick that had nothing to do with the language or world of Much Ado...this almost seemed a production aimed at a grade school audience, one that didn't trust in the innate intelligence and charm of this magnificent play.
David Melville handles classic language with ease, and he almost always plays against the traps most actors fall into in every role I've seen him tackle, but this performance was occasionally played for the cheapest of laughs (admittedly, he even did that well) and for the better part of the show, his (admittedly) amusing interpretation was not of the same world as the rest of the cast, rather dandy from a whole other period of English theatre history.
Melissa Chalsma, another talent who's impressed me over the years, goes really wrong with Beatrice: she plays her angry and tense from the start, going against vocalized descriptions of the woman's good nature. Beatrice is strong, stubborn, and assertive/aggressive, but she's also great fun and seriously turned on by Benedick. This Beatrice spends the better part of the show as a pill amidst the fun.
Alas, most of us are patient with the financial imperative that the supporting and smaller roles must be cast with newcomers, but two or three of these were just too green for this level of work. As heartbreaking as it is, just because we may want to support emerging talent doesn't mean their inexperience and talent-levels shouldn't be acknowledged and cast appropriately.
Unfortunately, this is the least intelligent and inspired production I've seen from ISC (they need to look at their work in Midsummer to see how to be both crowd-pleasing AND mind-pleasing), but that's one miss of the many successes I've seen from this company.
Here's to a powerful artistic comeback next season!
Quotes & Highlights
- The service fee does not go to the Independent Shakespeare Co. If you enjoy this production and would like to help support this free program, please make a donation at the event or via their website.
After six seasons in Barnsdall Park, Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC) is moving its summer festival of free performances to Griffith Park.
In 2009, despite diminished funding, the festival played to its largest audience ever: nearly 12,000. Audience members were routinely turned away due lack of space.
The new site in Griffith Park (at the Old Zoo) can hold twice as many people; is a beautiful and quiet spot; and is readily accessible to plentiful, free parking.
There is no seating at the site. Please bring a blanket to sit on. It is also very cool when the sun goes down. Dress warmly!