Arin Arbus directs the Off-Broadway production, which continues to March 24.
Much Ado About Nothing features Maggie Siff ("Mad Men," "Sons of Anarchy") as Beatrice and Jonathan Cake (The Philanthropist, Cymbeline) as Benedick.
"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 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.
Arbus said, "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 takes place 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.
For tickets phone (646) 223-3010 or visit Dukeon42.org.