Vpstart Crow Much Ado About NothingBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 12th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Vpstart Crow’s production of Much Ado About Nothing [MP3 5:01 1.4MB].
Mike: Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy written by William Shakespeare. The comedy revolves round two sets of people. One couple who is trying to get married, and there are obstacles in the way. The other couple have sworn they will never get married. But their friends arrange it so that they think the other is in love with them.
Laura: I enjoyed this performance. Shakespeare always takes me a scene or two to get accustomed to the language that’s spoken, but this was actually pretty easy to follow. I like the set and the costumes. There was a combination of veteran performers as well as newcomers to the Vpstart Crow family. Overall I enjoyed the performance.
Mike: This production was set in the United States just after the end of WWII. The director, Patrick Torres, was trying to show what the feelings would be like with people returning from war. So intead of setting the show back in the 1600s in Europe, they actually set it in the United States. That worked pretty well. The language was still the original language. It flowed really well. It made a lot of sense. I liked the interpretation.
Laura: Beatrice, the woman who vowed she would never get married, was played by Helen Parfumi. She did a very good job. She was very sarcastic. Her conversations with Benedick, who she swore she didn’t like at all, were very real and very funny. I enjoyed watching her. She had good expresions on her face when she was talking to herself about men and all of the dumb stuff they do. I liked it.
Mike: And Benedick was played by David Snider. He also had sworn that he would never get married unless there was someone as perfect as perfect could be. He was very poetic and very in control of what he wanted. The scene after his friends had decided to set him up and make him think that Beatrice was in love with him was really good. He was eavesdropping from around the corner. I like the way he perked up and eavesdropped and hid in the shadows. He did that very well. Beatrice also did the same thing when she was listening to her friends who were independently doing the same thing to her. It was one of those great coincidences where each thinks the other is in love with them.
Laura: Hero, the fiance of Claudio, was played by Megan Dominy. She did a very nice job. She was the starry eyed woman in love. Her love was very real in the scenes between her and Claudio.
Mike: Claudio was played by Chris Whitney. He was the soldier coming back from war to marry his love, Hero. His “friends” set him up as a practical joke. They made him think that Hero had been unfaithful. At the wedding Claudio attacked her and called her all these names, shamed her in front of her family and friends. That was a very emotional scene. Very powerful. You could definitely put yourself in his place because he thought he had been wronged. At the same time, you can put yourself in her place because she had no idea what he was talking about. It was very effective. They actually did that scene on the main level where the audience was sitting. That’s where the entire wedding scene took place. That was really nice because it made you feel as if you were there at the wedding. You were looking in at them very closely.
Laura: The setting for Much Ado About Nothing was actually one of the best sets that we have seen for an Vpstart Crow performance because it was a constructed set. You actually had a courtyard area. Then you had an upstairs area where the girls dressed before the wedding and had a nice little sitting area. Then outside you had a garden with a real picket fence and a gate so it made it look very real.
Mike: The Set Designer and Master Carpenter was James Jones. I really liked the set. It was a good use of the space at the Cramer Center. They also had on one side an extension of the back yard where the laundry was drying. It was very amusing watching Beatrice try to hide behind the clothes that were hanging on the line as they were removing the towels and clothes from the line. I liked that scene a lot.
Laura: Much Ado About Nothing is playing for one more weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2 PM at the Cramer Center in Manassas Virginia.
Mike: Last Sunday afternoon the cast and crew had a talkback session. We were able to record that. It is available to listen to. It’s about 25 minutes long. You can hear some of the details about how they went into creating this show.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1888.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.