MONDAY, AUG. 22, 2011, 4:16 P.M.

‘Much Ado’ about quality

I caught the Spokane Shakespeare Company's free production of "Much Ado About Nothing" on the lawn at Gonzaga Prep and I was astonished at how good it was.

This cast -- mostly college-age or just a little beyond -- brought this comedy to life. They did the three things required to turn Shakespeare from a mere recitation into a lively, engaging work of theater:

  • The cast, without exception, had great enunciation and projection.
  • They had fun with Shakespeare's language, delivering the juiciest phrases with evident relish.
  • They accompanied nearly every line with some kind of visual cue or comic business, which made it easier for us to grasp the meaning. It also, not coincidentally,  made the show funnier.

The credit for this must go to director Kevin Connell, who was endlessly inventive in helping his actors "suit the action to the word and the word to the action."

The run is over for the summer. Here's hoping they're back next year. 

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