Directed by Ben Donenberg, Much Ado will play a limited engagement through Dec. 19. On Dec. 10 the cast welcomed Lyle Lovett, who composed music for the production, to its cast in the role of Balthasar.
The company also includes include Chris Butler, Ramon De Ocampo, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Grace Gummer, Tom Irwin, Brian Joseph, Greta Jung, Geoffrey Lower, Anthony Manough, Dakin Matthews, Stephen Root, Jared Sakren, Fred Sanders, David Ogden Stiers, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins.
The production celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Shakespeare Center; it is the first full-scale, indoor production presented by the company.
Director Donenberg has set Much Ado on a fairy tale California vineyard. In a statement he said, "We are thrilled about Helen Hunt and Tom Irwin playing Beatrice and Benedick — they are both picture-perfect to play these parts because they can so beautifully explore how two people with a rocky unresolved past can drop their defenses and pretenses, rediscover each other, and find a new way to love."
The choreographer is Julie Arenal. The set design is by Douglas Rogers with lighting design by Trevor Norton, costume design by Holly Poe Durbin, and sound design by Adam Phalen.
Tickets for Much Ado About Nothing ($35 to $70, premium tickets also available) can be purchased by phone at (213) 628-2772, and online at CenterTheatreGroup.org/MuchAdo. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Center Theatre Group box office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles) or at the Kirk Douglas Theatre box office two hours prior to performances.