- Creative Loafing Best of the Bay – Best Actress – Roxanne Fay
- Theater Tampa Bay Recommended
Considered one of the most popular and charming of Shakespeare’s comedies (and one of the very few where the female lead doesn’t have to dress up at some point as a dude), Much Ado About Nothing features the classic couple Benedick (an arrogant and confirmed bachelor, played by Ned Averill-Snell) and Beatrice (his favorite sparring partner, played by Roxanne Fay).
While the feisty couple hides their infatuation beneath witty barbs, young love blossoms as Hero (Betty-Jane Parks) and Claudio (J. Elijah Cho) race to the altar. When the just Don Pedro’s (Matt Lunsford) wicked brother Don John (Michael C. McGreevy) conspires to break up the wedding, will false accusations and misunderstandings prevent the young couple’s happy ending? Will Dogberry (Spencer Meyers) and his misfit watch save the day? Witty wordplay, passionate poetry and clever plot twists make this the perfect romantic evening to share love and laughter.
Jobsite is presenting Shakespeare’s text of Much Ado About Nothing, a distinction the company learned needed to be made in 2011 when producing The Taming of the Shrew – some fans assumed it was a modern language re-telling as the company did with the mob-musical Pericles. The Much Ado script has been shortened slightly and some of the smaller characters have been combined to be played by a single actor, not at all uncommon in the modern theater. Conceptually, the production is set in a timeless fantasy land reminiscent of films such as Terry Gilliam’s Baron Munchausen or Neil Gaiman’s Stardust.
Jobsite’s production is surrounded by a few interesting coincidences. In July of this year, filmmaker Joss Whedon’s (The Avengers, Serenity) anticipated black and white indie project turned full-blown studio release of Much Ado hits screens. Jobsite Producing Artistic Director David Jenkins (who directs) at first considered his casting of Beatrice and Benedick as slightly non-traditional, as the roles are typically filled by younger actors than he hired, but in December his thunder was stolen when it was announced that this year Vanessa Redgrave (75) and James Earl Jones (81) will play the famous pair at London’s Old Vic.
In addition to Shrew and the Popp-Paonessa-Gobioff adapted Pericles, Jobsite has had success with Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus and of course their multiple sold-out engagements of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) dating back to 2001.
Teachers: we have a daytime performance of Much Ado About Nothing on Mar. 28 at 11am at a greatly reduced student group rate. Write to Kari.Marshall@StrazCenter.org for more details and to reserve your seats!
“Jobsite Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s play Much Ado About Nothing captures the vulnerabilities of human emotion and error…. They executed one of Shakespeare’s most beloved works with all the frivolous fracas and tirades of jealousy, stubbornness and denial. Turns out, all the ado was worth something.” – Tampa Bay Times
“[Jobsite] can hold its metaphorical head high, as the company has successfully rendered this colorful play…. It’s sort of rustic, like Brian Smallheer’s charming set design, which helps blow away any stuffiness theatergoers might attribute to Shakespeare.” – Tampa Tribune
“wonderfully sharp and charming … this is a clinic on how Shakespeare should be played by Americans…. If you think that Shakespeare’s language is hard to understand, this is the show that will change your mind…. Much Ado About Nothing: it’s worth seeing and savoring.” – Creative Loafing
Cast & Crew
- David M. Jenkins – Director
- Ned Averill-Snell – Benedick
- J. Elijah Cho – Claudio/Conrade
- Jason Evans – Borachio/Antonio
- Roxanne Fay* – Beatrice
- Matt Lunsford – Don Pedro/Verges
- Michael C. McGreevy – Don John/Watchman
- Spencer Meyers – Balthasar/Dogberry/Friar Francis
- Alvin Jenkins – Leonato/Watchman/Sexton
- Betty-Jane Parks – Hero/Watchman
- Katrina Stevenson – Margaret/Watchman
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association
- Matthew Ray – Stage Manager
- Tierra Bonser – Dramaturg
- Greg Newcomb – Poster Artist
- Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic/Lighting Designer
- Dave Steinweg – Sound Desginer
- Katrina Stevenson – Costume Designer
Great show, great cast. See it! – Clare Ward-Jenkins
Loved the production, acting, costumes, set, direction. Bravo! Tampa friends, don’t miss this one! – Susan Oliver
Really good production. Fine direction. Ned Averill-Snell is a treasure. – Kerry Glamsch
Shout out to Jobsite Theater and the cast of Much Ado… Especially Roxanne Fay and Ned Averill-Snell- you both were amazing!! Love to you all! – Amy Elizabeth Gray
Much Ado About Something!! In the immortal words of David Bowen, “My God–It’s Full of Stars!!” 😉 – Jeanne M Adams
Much Ado was entertaining Shakespeare at its best…great cast, quick pacing…fastest three hours I’ve spent in a long time. And the Moots loved it too! – Rick Stutzel
Great cast! A fantastic afternoon of theatre! – Eric Swearingen
Shakespeare is a genious! I have seen his plays at the National Theatre of London and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and I can say that the Jobsite Theatre actors are remarkable! Please go and see it at the Jobsite Theater! – Patrizia LaTrecchia
Lots of fun … – Giles Davies
If you love Shakespeare, if you love to laugh, if you love love. Go see Much Ado About Nothing. It is probably some of the best Shakespeare I’ve seen in my life. Lovely, hearty and with the most hilarious cast. Only $10 for student/senior rush tickets and only 2 weekends left to see it. – Sara Rotunda
Great show tonight! Bravo to everyone involved with Jobsite’s Much Ado! Huzzah! – Colleen Cherry
Had a great time at this show! Don’t miss it. – Tom Wood
Bravo to Ned Averill-Snell, Michael C. McGreevy, Katrina Stevenson, Matt Lunsford, Spencer Meyers, Jason Vaughan Evans and the rest of the cast of Jobsite Theater’s rendition of Much Ado About Nothing! Well done, my friends, well done! – Bob Westphal
Saw a show for the ages!! Much Ado About Nothing was amazing! All the actors were brilliantly funny and honest! If you haven’t seen it go go go!! Congratulations to the entire cast and crew! Nothing better than watching wonderfully done Shakespeare! – Sarah McAvoy
What a wonderful evening of theatre. Jobsite Theater brought Much Ado About Nothing to Home Resource in Sarasota. The parking lot, to be exact, where we had rain, homeless people, and an audience member who tried to leave the parking lot in her car while the show was going on. IT WAS BRILLIANT nonetheless. Catch it up in Tampa this weekend – Lauren Wood
Tonight’s preview of “Much Ado About Nothing” gave us TONS to talk about in the car. Great job, @jobsitetheater cast! Have a wonderful run. – Desirée Fantal
Saw Much Ado About Nothing last night in the @jobsitetheater. Great job by all! #shakespeare #muchado#straz – Krystin Olinski
Go see Much Ado at @jobsitetheater if you can. Beautifully done! #ilovegoodacting – @JantheDiva
Saw it last night. Fay and Averill-Snell will knock you socks off. – MT Clarity
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