A-ASC’s Much Ado About Nothing is Something to Write Home About!

 

Much Ado About Nothing at African-American Shakespeare Company is definitely noteworthy. Under the expertly imaginative hand of Artistic Director L. Peter Callender, this rich plot of twists and turns that explores courting and romance gains momentum from beginning to end. Set in post WWII, the music of Ella Fitgerald enriches the sharp Shakespearean comedy. Callender’s cast is fearless dealing with the serious tones of honor and shame that are interspersed between the more exuberant aspects of love.

Nowhere will you find a more delightfully sassy Beatrice (Leontyne Mbele-Mbong) who meets her match in Benedick (Ryan Vincent Anderson). Their sparring wit contrasts the innocent puppy dog love of Claudio (Twon Marcel) and his lovely young Hero (Danielle Doyle). The story of the two pairs of lovers is enhanced by an ensemble that features solid performances from Don Pedro (Kelvyn Mitchell), Don John (Jim Gessner) and Leonato (Dwight Dean Mahabir) to name a few.  Tom Segal’s Choreography and Maureen “Mo” Stones’s Costumes add their talents to give this Much Ado even more pizzazz.

AASC is this year’s worthy recipient of the Paine-Knickerbocker Award by the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. Named for the former theatre critic of The SF Chronicle, this Award is presented to an organization that has made a continuing contribution to Bay Area Theatre.

Much Ado About Nothing completes AASC’s 2013/14 Season. With such an array of talent, their next season promises to be equally exciting.  Located at Burial Clay Theatre in the African American Art & Culture Complex, 762 Fulton Street (near Webster) in SF, an added perk is the free parking next door. Tickets for the upcoming season will be available at the Box Office or Brown Paper Tickets 1-800-838-3006. www.african-americanshakes.org.

 

Linda Ayres-Frederick