Young lovers Hero (Kate Beckinsale) and Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), soon to wed, conspire to get verbal sparring partners and confirmed singles Benedick (Sir Kenneth Branagh) and Beatrice (Dame Emma Thompson) to wed as well.
A visit by Don Pedro and his fellows re-ignites a "merry war" betwixt Benedick and Beatrice. Claudio swoons for Hero. Don Pedro hatches plans to usurp Cupid in matters of love. But Don John tries to ruin it all.
Jason L. Mitchell
Adam R. Brown
Benedick and Beatrice fight their merry war of words. But when Beatrice's friend, Hero, is humiliatingly jilted by Benedick's best friend, Claudio, Benedick has to choose which side he's on... See full summary »
Leonato (Clark Gregg), the governor of Messina, is visited by his friend Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) who is returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother Don John (Sean Maher). Accompanying Don Pedro are two of his officers: Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Claudio (Fran Kranz). While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese), while Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice (Amy Acker), the governor's niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for a marriage. In the days leading up to the ceremony, Don Pedro, with the help of Leonato, Claudio and Hero, attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to trick the two into falling in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, with the help of his allies Conrade (Riki Lindhome) and Borachio (Spencer Treat Clark), plots against the happy couple, using his own form of trickery to try to destroy the marriage before it begins. A series of comic...Written by
The scene in which Benedick does push-ups for Beatrice in an attempt to show off was improvised by Alexis Denisof. Joss Whedon admits that he was hesitant in regards to the gag, but positive audience reaction allayed his fears. See more »
It is Ursula & Hero whom are 'meddling' (talking about Benedick's love for Beatrice as she eavesdrops). In the following scene, Claudio relays to Don Pedro that it was Margaret & Hero that were meddling. See more »
How to Make Elizabethan Black Comedy Land with an Audience in 2013
Much Ado About Nothing is a good title for this play. True love is destroyed by a jaded third party with baseless accusations. Two jaded wits fall for each other with the help of well-meaning friends...who make baseless accusations. Love is a real thing often created or ended through unlikely circumstances. Along the way, you'll enjoy beautiful language, brilliant insights, thought-provoking situations. None of this would have worked so effectively had it not been for smart direction and acting, displayed here in abundance. Everyone in the cast understands their lines, essential to make the antique language come alive. You might be surprised how many productions fail with clueless line readings. Apart from the movies of Kenneth Branagh, it's a rare achievement that a cast does this well. The preciosity of plays of this vintage was never more skillfully avoided. That being said, there is something about Much Ado that never seems to work. When life-and-death violence arrives precipitately wrapped in coal black emotions, it somehow rings false, almost embarrassingly inapposite to the champagne that has flowed before. This schizophrenia might be eliminated by figuring out how to direct the first two thirds of the play more like the denouement.
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