(A Ghetto Ass) Much Ado About Nothing

CCP's Modern Take on a Shakespearean Classic

Kirsty Jimenez, Editor

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On the list for this month’s of events to keep your eyes open for, CCP will be holding its annual play. This year, the play chosen to educationally entertain our students is the distinguished Much Ado About Nothing written by the notable William Shakespeare, with a modernly urban twist conducted by our very own professor, Dr. Ardencie Karambé-Hall. With the privilege by cast, crew, and director, I have taken a sneak-peek inside pre-production before the play is set to open and what I have gathered is that you’d be sorely disappointed to miss out in the viewing of this creative performance.

Shakespeare Version of play

In 2018, society still thrives on gossip, jealousy, and the desire to find love and be married. In a world filled with the “Blac Chynas” and the “Rob Kardashians” and the “Kim Kardashian’s nudes but she’s suppose to be married”, you can admit that you can’t get away from the entertainment of gossip, jealousy, and love/marriage. Take stage to Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, the narrative based solely on who loves who, who cheated on who, and a brother’s betrayal. Much Ado About Nothing –the very word, here, written in the Shakespearean era to mean gossip, is all that and then some.

If you haven’t read the play, which I highly recommend you should do, the quick synopsis comprises of the main characters Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick (yes, that is spelled correctly), Hero, Beatrice, Don John, Borachio, Conrade, Leonato, Dogberry & his watchmen, and Friar Francis. Don Pedro, the prince of Aragon arrives in the town of Messina after winning a war. The governor of Messina, Leonato, welcomes Don Pedro and his friends Claudio, Benedick, along with his illegitimate brother- Don John to stay with him for the duration of a month. Within that time frame, Claudio continues his romance with Leonato’s daughter, Hero. Meanwhile, Benedick is involved in a love/hate relationship with Hero’s cousin, Beatrice. Don John, jealous of his brother’s legitimacy, searches for a way to embarrass Don Pedro by sabotaging Claudio’s relationship with Hero, who are suppose to be getting married. The drama, right? So Don John uses his minion, Borachio’s relationship with Margaret, Hero’s maid, to make it seem like Hero is cheating on Claudio –who then calls off the wedding. Whether, Hero and Claudio, or Benedick and Beatrice (for that matter) make it in the end is for you to find out, though.

When I had taken step into the auditorium the first time, I had walked into the actors’ first costume fitting. Dr. Hall had ordered the outfits set for the play and you can hear the camaraderie among the actors, especially the girls, in trying on their dresses to see if they fit and if any alterations needed to be made. It was a great time among them. Of course, when it came down to rehearse, then it was serious business, but still it was all joy. I noticed the mutual and general interest and investment in this play. In reviewing one actor’s books filled with his lines was when the title of this piece, A Ghetto Ass Much Ado About Nothing, because that’s what it was. The title is funny, charming, relatable, and even understandable –which I have to admit that Shakespeare’s works are hard to do. However, the title is everything the play, the characters and even the actors playing these characters are. Not essentially “ghetto” but funny, charming, and relatable.

The second review of pre-production, I had walked into the actors’ channeling their inner animal relative to the character’s they play. Some animals mentioned were dogs, monkeys, and even an evil dolphin. Example, the loyalty of dogs was relative to Borachio for obeying Don John’s command to sabotage Claudio’s wedding with Hero. This exercise helped the actor’s to challenge out their inner emotions and portray it to the best of their abilities. It was pretty awesome to be able to watch “behind the scenes” the characters comes to life through these amazing actors who have dedicated much of their effort into making this a great play.

I’m looking forward to opening day and hope to see more students sitting beside me in the auditorium; Much Ado About Nothing performed all week from Monday, March 19th to March 26th at the Bonnell Building, Room BG-21. 

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