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Much to do with everything

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's more moving comedies. The plot takes rapid shifts from the light, to the devious, to the upsetting. It has all the elements of a good story: a romance, a villain out to ruin everyone's happiness, a lively cast of characters, a couple of unhappy (and unlikely) coincidences, but most important of all, it has a happy ending. Lively acting, excellent direction and competent technical crew made this evening's performance a very enjoyable experience.

Before I start praising the acting -- and the acting was very deserving of praise -- let me first compliment Stephen O'Donnell for a marvelous set design when one considers the limitations of the Sala de Puerto Rico as a performance space. The lighting design of Randy Hertzman '88 had some dramatic moments, achieving the required atmosphere when needed, subtly complementing the performance throughout.

Anyone familiar with the Ensemble's past performances doesn't need to be told that all its members are talented actors. In Ado, under Derek Campbell's direction, their performances were especially powerful. Andrew Borthwick-Leslie '86, a veteran of the company, was consistent as always in his portrayal of Don Pedro. David Brackman gave an equally convincing performance as Don Pedro's misanthropic, bastard brother, Don John.

Andrea McGimsey '87 and Alexandra Dann, in their roles of Beatrice and Hero respectively, echoed the disparity of values displayed by their eventual husbands, Benedick (Brian Rague G) and Claudio (Tom Darci '87). All four gave stirring performances, as they became entangled in Don John's diabolical scheme to prevent the marriage of Claudio and Hero.

This performance of Much Ado About Nothing is an engaging rendition of the famous Shakespearean play. It will be worth your while to make time to see it this weekend.

Stephen P. Berczuk->