Watch the Bard Week – Much Ado About Nothing

We love our local Montford Park Players. They put on Shakespeare in the park every weekend from May through September. Jason Williams’ marvelous production of The Merchant of Venice just ended its four week run and this weekend starts Ken Knight’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, which he is presenting as an 80s John Hughes movie. If you are ever in Asheville, you would be remiss if you did not attend.

Much Ado About NothingMuch Ado About Nothing (2013) – Rated PG-13

“A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers with different takes on romance and a way with words.”

One Line Review: Enjoyable but for fans of the Whedonverse or Shakespeare only.

We also caught Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing in its short run. We found it quite enjoyable but a little on the slight side. He did a wonderful job with a twelve-day shoot in his backyard. The black and white cinematography is excellent.

It was really nice to see Whedon’s supporting players Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker get starring roles and I found them delightful. Clark Gregg was wonderful as Leonato. Strangely the biggest name in the cast, Nathan Fillion, severely underplayed the role of Dogberry. Our local actor Matt Tavener did a better job on Montford’s last go around of Much Ado.

I am making this week – Watch the Bard, with several tempting offerings on instant Netflix.


My Weekends with the Immortal Bard

I like Shakespeare and always have since my mother took me to see Hamlet oh so many years ago. I find his themes to be intricate and his wordsmithery (okay maybe that is not a word but it should be) fabulous. I never cared much for his comedies but enjoyed his tragedies and the few histories I had seen. My wife never cared much for Shakespeare and thought him to be the most overrated playwright ever. Both of our opinions lasted until a few years ago.

Now we both adore the Bard. Every weekend we go to see FREE Shakespeare in Montford Park in Asheville. Yes this is a plug for The Montford Park Players. Every summer they put on FREE Shakespeare plays at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre in Asheville. They run every weekend all summer and each play runs four weeks.

This year the first play was a double feature of Double Falsehood and Comedy of Errors. It was brilliantly staged by director Jason Williams and choreographer Kristi DeVille as a Bollywood musical. Currently we are two weeks into director Scott Keel”s adaptation of All”s Well that Ends Well. He has adapted this as though it were a Jane Austen novel. The acting, costuming, sets, and music are all superb.

The above picture is where I play the drum in the enemy ambush scene from All”s Well (two audience members are chosen at random to help with the drumming in that scene). My wife and I enjoyed the play so much that we went to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings performances. If you ever go – bring a picnic dinner and something to drink (alcohol is permitted).

This leads of course to my theme of the week which is Shakespeare on Instant Netflix.