REVIEW: Santa Cruz Shakespeare opens season with delicious ‘Much Ado’, SC Sentinel

Santa Cruz Shakespeare artistic director Mike Ryan takes the male romantic lead in the new production of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ Photo by r.r. jones

Santa Cruz Shakespeare artistic director Mike Ryan takes the male romantic lead in the new production of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ Photo by r.r. jones

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL, POSTED: 

By Joanne Engelhardt

Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s three-play festival opens with innovative casting twists

There may be no better way to welcome summer than spending a night (or afternoon) with the delightful characters of “Much Ado About Nothing” as interpreted by this year’s stellar Santa Cruz Shakespeare actors.

Though some of William Shakespeare’s plays can be pedantic or convoluted (or both), “Much Ado,” under the impeccable direction of Laura Gordon, is joyful, fun and really a jolly good way to develop an appreciation of Shakespeare for those who have previously hesitated to experience the Bard.

Seasoned Shakespeareans also will find a plethora of things to like about this playful production. Perhaps Shakespeare’s greatest romantic comedy, “Much Ado” shines brightly, most especially whenever the brilliantly delicious Greta Wohlrabe and pixyish Mike Ryan, as those splendidly matched sparring partners and lovers Beatrice and Benedick, are on stage.

Gordon found pure comic gold directing Ryan to scamper across the multi-story wrought-iron backdrop, peeking out behind curtains, somersaulting across a walkway and, monkeylike, swinging down to hide in a barrel. Not to be…

READ FULL REVIEW ON SC SENTINEL WEB SITE

Tickets on sale now for the 2015 season, which features three outdoor productions, starting with the wickedly romantic Shakespeare comedy Much Ado About Nothing, opening July 3; followed by David Ives’s modern adaptation of the wickedly hilarious 17th century farce, The Liar, opening July 24; and Shakespeare’s wicked tragedy, Macbeth, opening August 7. Plus, SCS continues the tradition of its intern-showcasing Fringe production with four performances of the wickedly festive comedy The Rover, starting August 18.

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