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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Runs Through 9/28 at Theatricum Botanicum

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Runs Through 9/28 at Theatricum Botanicum

Romance, intrigue and crackling verbal wit. Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum continues its celebration of the Bard's 450th birthday when Much Ado About Nothing joins the All-Shakespeare Summer Repertory Season tonight, July 12.

In one of the most exuberant and spirited battles of the sexes ever written, Beatrice and Benedick's verbal jousts are witty and sharp, each one calculated to wound. Yet, beneath their animosity lies a mutual attraction that neither dares confess - until circumstances unite them to rescue young friends and unmask their own true love. Soldiers returning from war, false accusations, a faked death, rampant eavesdropping or 'noting' (which is how the word "nothing" was pronounced in Shakespeare's London) and two weddings provide for a rich plot of twists and turns.

"Much Ado About Nothing is one of the great romance comedies," says Ellen Geer, who co-directs with daughter Willow Geer. "The dark, the bliss, the confusion, the hurt and the love of it all... the damage that gossip and jealousy can do. Shakespeare had an extraordinary understanding of the business of being human."

Starring in the roles of Much Ado's four lovers are Susan Angelo as Beatrice, Robertson Dean as Benedick, Jackie Kiikvee as Hero and Colin Simon as Claudio. Edward Giron plays Antonio, Tim Halligan is Dogberry, Mark Lewis is Don John, Franc Ross is Leonato, Jeff Wiesen is Don Pedro and Carolyn Marie Wright is Margaret.

This summer, discover Theatricum Botanicum's "garden of theater," a spectacular outdoor amphitheater nestled in the heart of Topanga Canyon. Theatricum Botanicum has been named "One of the 50 Coolest Places in Los Angeles" by Buzz magazine, "One of Southern California's most beguiling theater experiences" by Sunset, and "Best Theater in the Woods" by the LA Weekly. "The enchantment of a midsummer night at Theatricum Botanicum [makes it] crystal clear why audiences have been driving up into the hills since Theatricum's maiden season way back in 1973. Summer Shakespeare doesn't get any better than this," writes StageSceneLA. Says Los Angeles magazine, "The amphitheater feels like a Lilliputian Hollywood Bowl, with pre-show picnics and puffy seat cushions, yet we were close enough to see the stitching on the performers costumes. Grab a blanket and a bottle and head for the hills."

Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga, midway between Malibu and the San Fernando Valley. Much Ado About Nothing opens on Saturday, July 12 and continues through Sept. 28, running in repertory with ongoing performances of Lear, All's Well That Ends Well and A Midsummer Night's Dream. For a complete schedule of performances and to purchase tickets, call 310-455-3723 or log onto www.theatricum.com.

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