Much ado for Rep 

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ Arkansas Repertory Theatre Wildwood Park July 2 With the production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” the Rep, for the first time all year at shows this reviewer has attended, lives up to its reputation for being Arkansas’s leading voice in theater. For all the talent available to the Rep over the past 10 months, it’s good to see it finally being put to some good use. People easily forget how playful, and downright bawdy, Shakespeare’s plays can be, and “Much Ado” is no exception. Even for all its incredibly dense language and labyrinthine plots, Shakespeare was never meant to be for the elite –- the typical Elizabethan crowd was no doubt loud-mouthed, rowdy and, in some cases, drunk. Although today’s crowd won’t be nearly as surly, it is more relaxed than high-brow. For example, it was not surprising to see one actor bartering with audience members for beer during the play’s intermission. Or Scott Barrow, playing the role of Benedick, doing a few improv wisecracks during his performance to involve the crowd a little. This is a great family outing that mixes a picnic atmosphere with quality entertainment. And parents need not worry too much about ol’ Will’s dirty sex jokes, because unless your kid is at a college reading level, he or she won’t be able to sort through all the witty banter and endless monologues to find them. Although there’s probably a few things different about this performance as compared with other “Much Ado” shows you might have seen, the Rep proves that it’s best not to stray too far from Shakespeare’s original voice. Attempts to modernize other Bard classics have been nothing but irritating, and it’s refreshing to see good talent continue to revive a timeless playwright. So, put on your shorts, bring your lawn chairs, stuff your Igloos full of sandwiches and wine coolers, and enjoy a classic. The show runs at Wildwood through July 16. — By Dustin Allen


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Dustin Allen

  • Hot hit

    BENTON — The Royal Players’ production of “Guys and Dolls” is a treat for those wanting to catch a great family event at the tail end of summer, complete with great acting performances and a live quartet that -– despite the musical’s New York setting –-
    • Aug 25, 2005
  • Chillin’ on Easy Street

    Jazz and New York-style piano sounds are found in Little Rock’s theater neighborhood.
    • Aug 18, 2005
  • Living the dream

    While the small and volunteer Weekend Theater struggled to pull off the complex story of “Ragtime” with its 30-plus acting roles — often the stage seemed too crowded and singing voices not quite up to par — the newly opened show is one you can easily love
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • An uneven 'Macbeth'

    Michael Stewart Allen as Macbeth carries the play.
    • Sep 17, 2015

Most Shared

Latest in Theater Reviews

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Swamp brawl

    • Doesn't hurt with the Godzilla tie-in. With the mentioning of Monarch, and the atomic bomb…

    • on March 21, 2017
  • Re: Feeling the power of Green Day at Verizon

    • Rock out & Fight back with the rousing new protest song: "The Good Fight" by…

    • on March 20, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation