Theatre for a New Audience Presents MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHIING, 2/14-2/17

Theatre for a New Audience Presents MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHIING, 2/14-2/17

Maggie Siff plays Beatrice and Jonathan Cake Benedick in Theatre for a New Audience's new production of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Arin Arbus, opening Sunday, February 17, at 3:00pm at The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 West 42nd Street.

"I'm thrilled Maggie Siff, who played Kate last season in The Taming of the Shrew directed by Arin Arbus, now takes on the role of Beatrice opposite Jonathan Cake (Medea on Broadway) as Benedick. They are strong contrasts with a wonderful sense of comedy -- one is American, the other British; one sophisticated, the other rough-edged playing two former lovers whose wit and wariness are perfectly matched," said Jeffrey Horowitz, Founding Artistic Director of Theatre for a New Audience.

Ms. Arbus says, "Beatrice asks Benedick 'Will you not tell me who you are? This question preoccupies many of the characters and reveals anxiety underneath the exuberant wit, sophistication and humor of Shakespeare's comedy. Beatrice and Benedick's love is ambivalent, composed of desire and distrust, longing and shame, warmth and anger."

The production will be set in just before World War I in Sicily a patriarchal, Catholic society in which tradition and social ritual were central components of daily life. A maid's chastity, a man's honor were of the utmost importance. It was a moment in history when the entire world was on the brink of a new era. The world's understanding of the devastation of war and the roles of women were about to change.

Maggie Siff is acclaimed for her performances on stage, film and television, including Kate in The Taming of The Shrew, directed by Arin Arbus for Theatre for a New Audience last season. She is widely recognized for her TV roles on "Mad Men" and "Sons of Anarchy" and this year was nominated for a Critics' Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in "Sons of Anarchy." In 2008, Ms. Siff and her "Mad Men" co-stars were nominated for the SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Dramatic Series. She also received Philadelphia's Barrymore Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in Ibsen's Ghosts.

Jonathan Cake has appeared on stage, film and television. He played major classical roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, London's Shakespeare's Globe (Coriolanus), BAM and on Broadway (Jason in Medea opposite Fiona Shaw for which he won the Theatre World Award) and Lincoln Center Theater (Iachimo in Cymbeline). His films include Brideshead Revisited, True Blue and The One and Only and on television, "Desperate Housewives" and "Six Degrees."

Arin Arbus, Associate Artistic Director, Theatre for a New Audience. In 2009, Charles Isherwood, New York Times, called her "the most gifted new director to emerge." For Theatre for a New Audience she has directed Shakespeare's Othello (Lortel nomination Outstanding Revival) and Macbeth both with John Douglas Thompson; Measure for Measure with Jefferson Mays (Lortel Nomination Outstanding Revival) and last season's The Taming of the Shrew. She was a Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, a Williamstown Workshop Directing Corps Member, a member of Soho Rep's Writer/Director Lab, and is a Drama League Directing Fellow, and a Princess Grace Award Recipient. She has directed at Houston Grand Opera, Woodbourne Correctional Facility, The New School for Drama, Intiman Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Theatre Outlet, Fringe NYC, Storm Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Juilliard and Williamstown Workshop.

Tickets are $75 and may be purchased via phone at 646-223-3010 or via the web at www.Dukeon42.org. $10.00 New Deal tickets, for ages 25 and under or full-time students of any age, may be purchased in advance on line or in person at the box office (with code NEWDEAL) for any show of Much Ado. See www.tfana.org for details. Valid ID listing proof of age or enrollment as a full-time student required.

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