The acclaimed comic staging of Much Ado About Nothing by Aquila Theatre Company, the cross-cultural troupe that uses British and American actors, resumes performances Sept. 14 following a shuttering of three days due to the World Trade Center tragedy.
Performances continue to Sept. 16 at 45 Bleecker (at Lafayette) and then resume again Sept. 25 at Manhattan Ensemble Theatre, 55 Mercer Street, with a slightly different cast. Joining the Robert Richmond-directed company — bedecked in slinky 1960s-style suits, bowlers and jumpsuits designed by Beau Brummel — are Daryll Heysham (Leonato), Evan Robertson (Claudio/Verges) and Coleman Zeigen (Don Pedro/Borachio). Original company members Anthony Cochrane (Benedick and the show's composer), Lisa Carter (Beatrice), Louis Butelli (Friar/Don John/Dogberry), Cameron Blair (Margaret) and Shirleyann Kaladjian (Margaret) continue. Alex Webb, Richard Willis and Nathan Flower exit the show Sept. 16. Willis and Flower head off to tour in Aquila's Tempest, and Webb begins rehearsals for Arena Stage's Of Mice and Men in Washington, DC.
The Much Ado text has been trimmed to retain the guts of Shakespeare, and is re-set in the era of James Bond-like spy games. Richmond and Peter Meineck design, Meineck is lighting designer and Beau Brummel and Nate Terracio execute the costumes.
Official opening the move to MET is Sept. 27. Tickets are $30 $40. For information, call (212) 992-9642 or visit the website at www.aquilatheatre.com.
To view a Playbill On-Line Brief Encounter interview with Aquila artistic director Peter Meineck, click on "Brief Encounter" in the gray navigation area of PBOL's front page. — By Kenneth Jones