Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing (well, about some plays)

I saw four plays last weekend. One student show at the Bathhouse (Seattle Public Theatre), Fuddy Meers, which was very funny and surreal. As noted earlier, last weekend was the Seattle Outdoor Theatre Festival, which I went to on Sunday. I made it to three plays (despite having intentions of seeing way more)--Greetings from Styx, An Inconvenient Squirrel, and Much Ado About Nothing.

Greetings from Styx was a collection of short plays adapted from Ovid's Metamorphoses, produced by Balagan Theatre. It was quite funny and clever. An Inconvenient Squirrel, by Theater Schmeater, was rather a children's or family play, but Theater Schmeater always does a good job of adding some jokes just for the adults. It was kind of pointedly moralistic (about being who you are), but cute all the same.
I was thoroughly looking forward to Wooden O's Much Ado About Nothing. It's a play I've read, and seen a film adaptation of, but never seen on stage, and it's one of my favourites. I liked the costumes, which I thought looked sort of 1910s, especially the soldiers' uniforms. They were very monochrome, all the men in white and khaki, all the women in white, but somehow that worked extremely well. I think it made all the actors stand out well against all the green of outdoor theatre. The set was lovely, especially given travelling outdoor theatre. I was pleased with nearly all the casting--none of the women too whiny or screechy, none of the men too exaggerated. I was surprised to find Beatrice and Benedick's storyline played mostly on the sides as comic relief. I think of them as the main romance (probably because theirs is one of my favourite romantic plots), though I suppose they're not the characters directly involved in the main plot. The actors playing them, though, actually are married, which is a bit funny. Benedick especially was played as a comic character. The whole thing was very much comic, actually. The audience laughed at sections I always considered rather serious, like Beatrice's "if I were a man" monologue. It was really a great audience, clapping between scenes a lot. I was certainly not disappointed with my first Much Ado, even if parts of it were not as I expected.

Next weekend, hopefully, I'm going to see As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails