‘Much Ado’ in The New Yorker

“The director Arin Arbus and her excellent players in the Theatre for a New Audience present a bold, bifurcated version of the Shakespeare comedy. Before intermission, the show, stuffed as it is with nonstop banter and wordplay, is wonderfully airy and nimble. But in the second half, the mood is palpably altered, as the consequences of the characters’ various schemes against one another turn deadly serious, good nature curdling in an instant. Much of this could be played with a wink, but, in exploring the darker implications of the play’s jests, the company succeeds in tapping into a wide emotional wellspring. As Beatrice and Benedick, the central sparrers in this progenitor of the modern rom-com, Maggie Siff and Jonathan Cake are whip-smart and fantastically foolish.”

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