Much Ado About Nothing
Through Nov. 3
Guthrie Theater, 818 So. 2nd St., Mpls.
Shakespeare’s ‘marriage of minds’ comedy is typically a show about middle aged love, something we still see too little of in entertainment these four centuries later. But nowadays, 60 is the new 40, or something like that. So it’s very satisfying to see two marvelous actors who are somewhere around that age ignite the wit and passion Beatrice and Benedick require. Director Joe Dowling cast Dhearbhla Molloy and Daniel Gerroll in these two great romantic roles and so it resonates splendidly with our time and average life span.
However, the Don John (Ron Menzel) subplot lacks the necessary homoeroticism and his entourage lacks the sense of cruelty necessary to keep the comedy walking that tight line it needs to between the comic and the tragic. Hence, the play’s pivotal sexual deception scene lacks the danger it needs to bring home to a contemporary audience just how socially catastrophic sex before marriage was to a young ‘maid’. The entourage is more goofy than menacing. And that’s basically the problem.