Shakespeare with a modern twist: Fourth Room Theatre takes on ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Much Ado About Nothing
Fourth Room Theatre tackles Shakespeare’s classic comedy. — photo by Adam Burke

Much Ado About Nothing

Fourth Room Theatre (901 Melrose Ave.), Aug. 21-23 , 7 p.m. (Free)

Ever since Joss Whedon’s 2012 film-version of Much Ado About Nothing, theatre groups across the country have jumped at the chance to stage this classic Shakespeare comedy.

Fourth Room Theatre is presenting their version of the play as part of their Free Classics initiative. Instead of 16th century Italy, the action takes place in America in 1960, just after John F. Kennedy’s election victory. Riding the high of a successful campaign, the election staff decides to bring together Beatrice and Benedick, two people who are secretly in love with each other even as they engage in a “merry war” of wits. When Beatrice’s cousin is accused of scandalous behavior, the happiness and lives of several people hang in the balance.

It’s Shakespeare with a Mad Men twist, complete with glamorous costumes, swinging music and examinations of gender roles that still remain relevant today.

The production is free, but patrons should make a reservation by e-mailing or calling 319-214-3375.

Full Disclosure: Jorie Slodki, LV’s Theatre Editor, is assistant director of this production.

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