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What to do in Oklahoma on Feb. 23, 2014: See CityRep's "Much Ado About Nothing"

by Brandy McDonnell Published: February 23, 2014

Today’s featured event:

See the final performance of Oklahoma City Repertory’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at 1:30 p.m. today at the Civic Center Music Hall’s Freede Little Theatre, 201 N Walker. The staging is a co-production of CityRep and TheatreOCU.

As previously reported, CityRep is joining professional companies worldwide in celebrating The Bard’s 450th birthday year.

Not only is “Much Ado” the first Shakespearean work CityRep has performed in its 12-year history, Donald Jordan, the company’s founding artistic director, also thinks it is the first professional Actors’ Equity union production of any Shakespeare play in Oklahoma in more than 40 years.

“Our community, we’re very fortunate that we’re very well represented in Shakespeare. We have several educational institutions … and we have several good community theaters that also do Shakespeare very well. And Shakespeare, while he is a talented guy, don’t get me wrong, he hasn’t written anything new in awhile,” Jordan said with a grin.

While CityRep typically focuses on bringing contemporary works, as well as some classic plays, to OKC, the company wanted to take part in the global commemoration of The Bard’s birth. Dallas-based director Rene Moreno, the artistic associate at Dallas Shakespeare, is helming the Oklahoma City production of his all-time favorite play.

Although it maintains most of Shakespeare’s finely crafted language, CityRep’s “Much Ado” takes place in Guthrie at the turn of the 20th century. and features the music of Scott Joplin and John Philip Sousa. The Bard penned the rom-com at the turn of the 17th century and set it on the island of Sicily.

“Don and I were interested in bringing an Oklahoma connection to it,” said Moreno, one of CityRep’s affiliated artists whose credits include Broadway’s original cast of “Amadeus” and New York Shakespeare in the Park.

“We’re not doing literal history or anything like that, but just a flavor. … So we’re right before statehood in the early 1900s, in Guthrie, which was then the capital of the Oklahoma Territory.”

To read more of my “Much Ado” preview, click here.

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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