By Scott Brown
“Mad Men’s (and Sons of Anarchy’s) Maggie Siff and Brideshead Revisited’s Jonathan Cake joust delightfully in a mostly solid, sweetly simple, gently cheering Much Ado About Nothing from director Arin Arbus and Theater for a New Audience. Siff follows up (but doesn’t repeat) her take-no-shit Kate from last year’s Taming of the Shrew — and meets her goofball prince-charming in Benedick, whom Cake interprets as a kind of gracefully aging proto-hipster, the kind of guy who’s taking improv classes at 40 to keep up with his quick-witted lady-love. There’s a little transatlantic tension in their interplay, a bit of Grant Hepburn, but some Tracy Hepburn, too. A juicy, earthy pair, this Beatrice and Benedick: a couple of grownups who are so far ahead of the reckless young lovers around them, they’ve forgotten how far behind they’ve fallen in their own self-sabotaged love-lives. Shakespeare furnishes us with plenty of young lovers and a few old ones; but Beatrice and Benedick have history. They’ve screwed each other over once; this is their second bite at the apple. Siff and Cake make that bite count.”
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