Much Ado About Nothing | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Much Ado About Nothing 

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Self-righteous, ruthless men treat women like trading cards in Shakespeare's allegedly idyllic land, Messina. Presented with the slightest threat to their hegemony--they believe the passive, innocent Hero has betrayed her betrothed, Claudio--these men band together to humiliate her, then (so they believe) inadvertently kill her. Directors like Canada's Marti Maraden who ignore the play's blatantly problematic sexual politics might at least offer a giddy comedy about true love's triumph over deception. But Maraden's Messina is so blandly pleasant, her Messinians so featureless (except for the truly funny clown constables), that it's difficult to imagine why anyone would care about them even when trouble arises in act two. This is one production that lives up to its name. Through 2/26: Tue 7:30 PM, Wed 1 and 7:30 PM, Thu 7:30 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 4 and 8:30 PM, Sun 3 PM, no show Sat-Sun 12/24-12/25 and Sun 1/1, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand, 312-595-5600, $48-$65.

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