Infidelity, trickery and a faked death are just some of the delightful plot twists in Shakespeare's beloved romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, presented by Georgia Shakespeare at the Conant Performing Arts Center June 21 - August 4. Opening Night is Friday, June 22, 2012 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 404.504.1473 or online at www.gashakespeare.org.
Directed by Georgia Shakespeare's Producing Artistic Director Richard Garner, this production turns up the heat with sizzling costumes, a sexy setting, and red-hot romances on the hillsides of Sicily.
Passions ignite when the governor of Messina, Leonato, welcomes a group of soldiers to the home he shares with his daughter and niece. Claudio, played by Eugene H. Russell IV, quickly falls in love with Leonato's daughter Hero, portrayed by Ann Marie Gideon. Meanwhile Benedick (Associate Artist Joe Knezevich) resumes a battle of wits with Leonato's niece Beatrice (Associate Artist Courtney Patterson) that began years ago.
As Claudio and Hero scheme to trick Beatrice and Benedick into falling in love, other members of the household are plotting to break up Claudio and Hero, setting off a series of misunderstandings that lead to some truly hilarious moments. Audiences will relish the bumbling antics of Georgia Shakespeare Associate Artists Chris Kayser and Megan McFarland as the well-meaning but ridiculous police officers Dogberry and Verges.
Just as the characters are about to burst with their love for each other, the set design by Kat Conley also evokes a sense of eruption. Plant life bursts with blooms and explodes with greenery, overflowing planters and beds like lava. In the sultry costumes by Sydney Roberts, characters also seem to want to break out of their confines, if even just to squelch the heat of the Italian summer.
Speaking of summer, at Georgia Shakespeare the season means a night picnicking on the outdoor terrace with great friends and a bottle of wine. Patrons are encouraged to bring their dinner and enjoy the shaded veranda prior to the show.
Patrons can also stay after the performance on July 28 for the No Love Songs Allowed Cabaret, part of Georgia Shakespeare's summer Cabaret Nights. Having seen plenty of love in the show, audiences will delight in anything but at this performance by members of the summer company, where everything except the amorous is fair game. For only $10, the audience can enjoy the beautiful summer night as the veranda transforms into the hottest nightclub in town.
Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Times vary by date. Cabaret Night is July 28. Tickets range from $13 to $45. Cabaret Night tickets are $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.gashakespeare.org or call the Georgia Shakespeare Box Office at 404.504.1473. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, students and members of the military.
The 2012 season is made possible by Charles Loridans Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, The Shubert Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Turner Voices.