CT Repertory Theatre to Present MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, 2/28-3/9

CT Repertory Theatre to Present MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, 2/28-3/9

Storrs: Sinatra is on the radio, soldiers returning home from the Korean War, and a beautiful seaside estate sets the scene for Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Connecticut Repertory Theatre presents the comedy directed by Paul Mullins, onstage February 28- March 9 in the Nafe Katter Theater, Storrs. Sarah Wintermeyer stars as Beatrice and matches wits in this hilarious battle of the sexes with James Jelkin's Benedick.

This remarkably modern Shakespearean comedy revolves around two intertwined love stories: one caustically funny, between Beatrice and Benedick, and, the other, between Claudio and Hero, poignantly sweet. These loves play out with an explosion of witty banter as soldiers returning from war set their sights on the peacetime pleasures of merrymaking and romance in a jaunty world of aristocratic artifice. However, when false information leads one proud nobleman to cruelly denounce his beloved on their wedding day, the verbal sparring sours into private warfare. In this powerful comedy, Shakespeare makes you laugh, but also breaks your heart - and then magically puts it back together again as if it were all "much ado about nothing."

Director Paul Mullins, returning to CT Rep following last seasons's smash hit Hairspray, said, "Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy of manners. The most socially and psychologically realistic of Shakespeare's comedies, the play and its "merry war" between the sexes is a precursor of restoration comedies, screwball comedies and even the romantic comedies of today. We wanted this production to be an American telling of the story. We chose the early 1950's, the end of the Korean War, as the period for Shakespeare's tale of soldiers returning from war, the women at home, love, jealousy, marriage, laughter and a few tears. More specifically we chose to set the play in Newport, RI, where wealth and leisure time provide this comedy of manners a perfect setting in which to blossom."

Paul Mullins (Director) returns to CRT where he staged last season's Hairspray and the 2011 world premiere of the critically acclaimed I'm Connecticut, by Mike Reiss. Mr. Mullins other CRT credits include Urinetown starring Andrea McArdle and The Comedy of Errors. Mr. Mullins has worked extensively throughout the country including The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (Company Member): where he directed The Liar, Richard II, King John, Noises Off, The Lion in Winter, The Time of Your Life, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Rhinoceros, The Threepenny Opera and many others; The Old Globe: Good People, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Merry Wives and Measure For Measure;The Studio Theatre: Tynan, Fat Pig, The Seafarer and The Solid Gold Cadillac. He has also directed productions for Portland Stage Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Dorset Theatre Festival, American Stage, The StateTheatre ,NYU - Grad Acting, The Juilliard School, and Yale School of Drama.

David McCann (Leonato) Over his 40 year career, Mr. McCann has appeared in theatres across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., including the Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre, Pioneer, New World Stages, Kansas City Rep, St. Louis Rep, Geva, Denver, Alliance, Walnut, Syracuse, Delaware, Vermont Stage, Virginia Stage, Dorset, Olney, Wilma, Triad, Great Lakes/Idaho/Alabama/Orlando/Nebraska/Vermont Shakespeare Festivals, Meadowbrook, Actors Playhouse, EST, Walkerspace, Ensemble (CA), CT Rep , and with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican and on tour. Roles include Hamlet (3 times), Claudius (2), Prospero (2), Oberon, Feste (2), Bassanio, Lord Byron, Hosanna (2), Don Pedro (2), Aunt Augusta (3), Iago, Salieri, Cauchon, Ganesha, Milo Tindle, Robert Scott, Colm Primrose, Claudio, Ross (2), Pato Dooley, Bernard Nightengale, Felix Turner (3), Judge Brack, Pastor Manders, Rev. Brown, Bajazeth, Warwick, Exeter/ Nym/Alice, McLeavy, Ben Franklin, St. Paul, Leonato, Dr. Bradman , Lord Stanley, and the originalcompany of John Barton's Tantalus. Television roles include Sex and the City, The Sopranos, As the World Turns, Law&Order, and Law&Order: Criminal Intent. He is also a food writer, recipe developer (Great American Home Cooking, Every Day with Rachael Ray), teacher, and playwright Christmas Carol (18 productions), Immortal Longings, Black & White, The Wake, Grand). Follow his food blog at www.thisoldchef.com .

James Jelkin (Benedick) is a 3rd year Graduate Actor. His CRT credits include: Aramis (Three Musketeers), Nikos (Big Love), Corny Collins (Hairspray), Roy V. Bensinger (His Girl Friday), Paris (Romeo & Juliet), Brian Ryan/Alexander Hamilton (O Beautiful) and Autolycus (The Winter's Tale). Other credits include: Monomoy Theatre, MA: Hotspur (Henry IV), Roat (Wait Until Dark) and Cliff (Cabaret); University of Nebraska Kearney: Howie (Rabbit Hole), the title role in Pseudolous and Rev. Shannon (Night of the Iguana); Other roles include Lt. Cabal (South Pacific) and Gaston (Beauty and the Beast).

Sarah Wintermeyer (Beatrice) is a 3rd year Graduate Actor. CRT credits include: Three Musketeers (Constance), Big Love (Eleanor), The Music Man(Alma Hix), Hairspray (Velma), His Girl Friday (Jaclyn Wilson), Romeo & Juliet (Lady Capulet), O Beautiful (Arlene Fletcher), Man of La Mancha(Housekeeper), The Winter's Tale (Lady Paulina), and The Pirates of Penzance (Daughter). Regional credits include: Sierra Repertory Theatre: Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Audrey Williams in Lost Highway; Summer Repertory Theatre, SF Bay Area: Agnes in Agnes of God, Jen in Jon and Jen; Little Theatre, LA: Elizabeth Hughes in Catholic School Girls, Silencein Silence.

The cast will feature graduate actors Thomas Brazzle, Darek Burkowski, Anthony Goes, Will Haden, Khetanya Henderson, James Jelkin, Colby Lewis, Olivia Saccomanno, and Sarah Wintermeyer; as well as undergraduate actors Saul Alvarez, Gabriel Aprea, Harry Elfenbaum, Kevin Hilversum, Alison Janavaris, Briana Maia, John Manning, Ryan Marcone, JoonHo Oh, Susannah Resnikoff, and Adam Schneemann.

Please call 860-486-2113 for tickets or for more information. Please call or visit the box office for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary and are subject to change. Tickets available online at www.crt.uconn.edu.

Box Office Location - Please note that the CRT box office is now housed in the Nafe Katter Theatre, located at 820 Bolton Road. There is short term parking on Bolton Road, in the loading zone directly in front of the theatre. CRT tickets can no longer be purchased at the Jorgensen box office. CRT's box office is open Monday-Friday, noon - 5 p.m., and will also be open one hour prior to show time at the theatre where the performance is taking place.

Weeknight evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. Weekend evening performances start at 8 p.m. Matinee performances start at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $7 - $37.

Photo by Matt Pugliese

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