Shakespeare's spirited romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing opens on the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival main stage Friday, July 13, with previews July 11 and 12, and runs through August 5. Much Ado will play in repertory with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Directed by James J. Christy, Much Ado offers a tale of two courtships: Beatrice and Benedick elevate the art of the quarrel in their duel of glittering wordplay, while Claudio and Hero are instantly smitten with one another. However, the scheming and envious Don John vows to ruin Claudio and Hero's happiness. Comical officers challenge dastardly villians, honor and desire collide -- and a story filled with laughter and love unfolds.
Rob Kahn and Eleanor Handley play the roles of Benedick and Beatrice respectively. Kahn's credits include serving as artistic director at Interact Theatre in Los Angeles, national tours, TV and film. Handley, who made her PSF debut last season as Adriana in The Comedy of Errors and Emilia in The Two Noble Kinsmen, appeared in the PBS broadcast of Twelfth Night as Maria. Zach Robidas, whose film credits include Arbitrage and It's Complicated, plays Claudio. Emiley Kiser plays Hero.
The cast includes Larry Bull as the prince Don Pedro and Joe Vincent as Leonato, Hero's father and Beatrice's uncle. Playing Don John, the bastard brother of Don Pedro is Tom Degnan, who played Joey Buchanan in the daytime television series One Life to Live. Jo Twiss appears as Antonia, Leonato's sister, while Carey Van Driest appears as both Ursula and Verges, the town deputy. Anthony Reimer takes the stage as Dogberry, the constable who is a master of malapropisms.
Thom Weaver has designed the Sicilian island setting where the play takes place, along with designing the lights. Sam Fleming has designed the costumes. Matthew Given serves as the resident sound designer for the Festival and Hannah Woodward serves as stage manager. Erin Hurley choreographs.
· Opens: July 13
· Previews: July 11 & 12
· Closes: August 5
· Performances: Tuesday July 24 at 7pm; Wednesday July 11, 18 & August 1 at 8pm; Thursday July 12 & 26 at 8pm; Friday July 13 at 8pm; Saturday July 28 at 8pm and August 4 at 2pm; Sunday July 15 & August 5 at 7:30pm and July 22 & 29 at 2pm
· Tickets: $25-$52; $10 student rush 30 minutes prior to curtain, subject to availability
Tickets to Much Ado About Nothing are available at www.pashakespeare.org and by contacting the Box Office at 610.282.WILL .
Much Ado About Nothing will play in repertory with Tennessee Williams' explosive Pulitzer Prize winner Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, featuring the same cast. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will run from July 19-August 5.