Review: Oberlin Summer Theatre Festival’s Much Ado About Nothing Laughs at Love
An utterly delightful opening-night production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing showed, once again, that the Oberlin Summer Theatre Festival is the place to be for the month of July. The Hall Auditorium theatre sizzled with Director Paul Moser’s jazz-era version of the classic battle between the sexes. Charmingly played lovers Hero (Alexis Macnab) and Claudio (Donnie Sheldon) showed just how foolish believing gossip could be (one imagines their love today would fall victim to a twitter attack). Clare McNulty played the regal, sarcastic Beatrice with elegant (and eloquent) verve. It’s no wonder that her love-sparring foil Benedick (staunchly rendered by David Bugher) fell for her despite himself. A small combo stage-side added just the right touch (especially the 1930s vocals).
What’s truly amazing is that this free production is better than other area shows which are not. Moser and his talented cast remind us once again why Shakespeare isn’t a bit boring–and is, indeed, a heck of a lot of fun.
[Review in Morning Journal, Lorain, July 25, 2010]