Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

[ASP] Much Ado About Nothing [2009-05-23]

I spent Saturday with Cate and Allie (not to be confused with -- per one of my coworker's last week when I was talking about my upcoming weekend plans).

Veggie Planet was takeout-only due to The Campfire Festival at Club Passim*, so we ate at Grendel's Den -- yay eating outside :)  I got vegan chili (I forgot that chili means onions :( ) and linguini with pesto (what I was actually given was shells pasta, but since I prefer that to spaghetti-like pasta, I wasn't complaining).

*Looking it up online, Campfire Festival includes Mya Elaine and Brooke Brown Saracino.  Hello people I went to college with.  (Mya was my first year roommate.)

We were a little pressed for time, and as we were heading to the bus, Cate said, "I know Elizabeth has strong feelings about being on time."  She used the "strong feelings" phrasing twice, so then I had to tell the story of Ian and Andy from like a month ago at work.

I successfully paid attention to street signs and read the map I had printed out, so that after we got out at Dudley Station I took in the correct direction to get to the venue.  \o/

We had apparently been issued tickets for the evening performance rather than the matinee (and I didn't even notice on the confirmation email), but they were far from sold-out, so we got our tickets reissued -- same table and everything.

***

Yeah, I am not big on the comedies. 

My only experience with this play was seeing an NHS production of it, which I had almost zero recollection of the details of -- I was remembering it as being a Wild West theme, which is apparently a lie.

Cate and Allie both commented that the Beatrice and Benedick didn't have the chemistry of Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson -- which is a little ironic since one of the pull-quotes in one of ASP's promotional emails was: "Real-life husband and wife Snee and Plum share an easy chemistry. Snee plays up the spotlight-seeking aspect of Benedick, even turning one of his soliloquies into a stand-up routine, and Plum is a natural as the witty and wise Beatrice." -Jenna Scherer, Boston Herald

Don John totally came from the Keanu Reeves school of acting, which didn't bother me at all because the few minutes of the Kenneth Branagh version I'd seen included him.
At one point he angrily pops all the balloons above a table and then glares at the trumpeter until he kind of slinks off.  The audience laughed, but I was all, "Aww, poor trumpter boy.'

Claudio retains his "Even if she were an Ethiop" line, even though he, Hero, and Leonato are all played by people of African extraction.  (Claudio's companion (Don Pedro?) kind of looks at him like, "What?" and Claudio kinda shrugs like, "Yeah, I don't even know.")

I almost could not even stomach Dogberry and Verges.  Yeah, I am so not into that kind of comedy.

They had a guy playing Ursula, and being over-the-top about it -- as if it's a male character disguising himself as Ursula, and the first time the other characters almost seem to recognize it as a flimsy disguise and make the conscious decision to just not worry themselves over it, but the second time they seem to treat him as if he actually is Ursula.

At one point Benedick's doing like a lounge singer stand-up routine, and in his opening he engages with an audience member:
Benedick: "Where are you from?"
Audience member: "Newton."
Benedick: "Sorry?"
Audience member: "Newton."
Benedick: "No, I heard you, I'm just sorry. -- What am I talking about?  I'm from Padua -- it's like the Saugus of Italy."

The scene where Borachio confesses, when he comes out (drunk), he solicited an audience member to help support him, and then he seats the audience member down and does his drunken confession.  The audience member was a good sport throughout this, and then when the scene's voer, Bobbie Steinbech (who is kind of awesome) comes out to help with the scene change and shoos him back to his seat, commenting, "Everyone wants to be an actor."

Having just seen The Winter's Tale, I was really struck by the whole intense reaction to Hero's apparent unfaithfulness, plus the whole "pretend she's dead" plan.  (And Beatrice's "If I were a man" spiel totally echoed Lady Macbeth -- which, heh, my dad noted back when I posted about the NHS production.  Bonus: The program notes that the actress who plays Beatrice played Lady Macbeth in ASP's production.)

From the Artistic Director's note in the program: "Much Ado About Nothing is about the joy, pain, and discovery that takes place during a very long party and shows how, as we play, dance, and gossip, we discover truths that are uncomfortable, beautiful, and revealing  about ourselves and our true feelings."

***

I didn't look up local ice cream places in advance, so we just took the #1 back to Harvard and got ice cream at Herrell's -- and ate in the vault this time.  I got a coconut chocolate chip, which was good.
Tags: actually having a sense of direction, food: boston area, food: ice cream, music, plays: asp, plays: attended, plays: boston area, plays: shakespeare, shakespeare: much ado about nothing, smith: small world
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