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Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in the Park)

From 108 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Funny

About the show

Tony Award winner Kenny Leon directs an all-black staging of Shakespeare’s cherished comedy of romantic retribution and miscommunication for The Public's free, outdoor summer season. More…

In this modern production, we find the community of Messina celebrating a break from an ongoing war. But not all is peaceful amid the revelry, as old rivals engage in a battle of wits, unexpected foes plot revenge, and young lovers are caught in a tumultuous courtship – until love proves the ultimate trickster, and undoes them all.

Member Reviews (108)


Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Funny
Avg Score

Long, Clever, Great set, Lively, Fun singing/dancing

See it if you like creative Shakesp. Set in 2019 Georgia. Benedick shines. Crowd pleaser. Fast paced, but long...some slow spots.

Don't see it if you want to hear the verse spoken well by all actors; some do better than others. Still, a clever, well-directed adaptation.

Very entertaining "much ado" set in modern times in america w black cast, emphasizing black culture

See it if 1 of Will's great comedies; high-energy, laugh-out-loud production; beautiful singing & kinetic dance

Don't see it if best when Beatrice & Benedick jousting w each other are equals, here Bea dominates Ben; broad in your face production lacks wit

Also The core of this comedy deals w how dangerous and corrosive artifice (... Read more Read less

Forced, Romantic, Great acting, Funny, Clever

See it if you’re looking for a fresh, modern interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. The acting is terrific.

Don't see it if you’re a Shakespeare purist. Also, the last 2 minutes suffers from a forced message that’s completely irrelevant to the play. Very strange.

Overdone, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if You enjoy a good Shakespeare play. Great acting, singing, and story. Super funny and accessible.

Don't see it if You are tired of Much Ado About nothing and have seen it enough. Putting it in the modern era didn't really serve the story.

Funny, Great acting, Must see, Refreshing, Delightful

See it if So good the repartee sounds unscripted. Most entertaining comedy I’ve seen in a while. Shakespeare in the Park at its best.

Don't see it if you prefer productions that are stilted, antiquated, & ultimately disposable for being so disengaged from what’s enduringly funny/relatable.

Also Run ends today :( It’s really too bad, because the show is unmissable.... Read more Read less

Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you like adaptations that remain faithful but contextualization and line delivery is modern. Wonderful performance from Danielle Brooks.

Don't see it if you don't like any Shakespeare, you do not like political context, do not want to sit outside. Around 3 hours including intermission.

Clever, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Delightful

See it if A terrific cast brings this classic to life in a new way. The use of modern music enhances the play. Great costumes.

Don't see it if If you're not fond of Shakespeare, or if you prefer your Shakespeare old-style, maybe this isn't for you. Poor you.

Disappointing, Great acting, Delightful

See it if great acting in a play one has seen so often. well stage and never dragged.

Don't see it if seen too many Much Ados. Another one is not really needed. The contemporary thing seems to be just tacked-on that didn't add anything.

A little long, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful

See it if you want wonderfully staged Shakespeare comedy set in contemporary black America. Funny, entertaining. Great acting, esp. Brooks & Coleman.

Don't see it if you don't want Shakespeare's original text, albeit made accessible by great performances/staging. A trifle long at times, but quite good.

Refreshing, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You want to see one of the best Beatrice's ever or a fabulous night out in the park. I wish more Shakespeare were done in this style.

Don't see it if No real reason not to, unless you hate Shakespeare comedies or getting rained on.

Enchanting, Riveting, Great acting

See it if You like Shakespeare as performed by the Public Theater in Central Park, you will be delighted with this interpretation.Great fun!

Don't see it if You prefer Shakespeare perforned in the traditional manner with no undates & music.

Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Funny, Romantic

See it if You want a thoroughly delightful rendering of one of the Bard's most effervescent pieces.

Don't see it if You do not care one whit for any sort of contemporary takes on Shakespeare's work.

Also “He breathed upon dead bodies and brought them into life. Nor sequent ... Read more Read less

Imaginative, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you love Shakespeare and you don't mind updated versions as long as they are true to the spirit of the original.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare OR you don't like Shakespeare if it is updated or has any changes in time and place.

Indulgent, Confusing, Raunchy, Ambitious

See it if You like Shakespeare in an original away

Don't see it if Updating Shakespeare bothers you.

Must see, Clever, Delightful, Fresh, wonderful

See it if Such a fresh take on my favorite Shakespeare play. Resonant messaging for today’s climate with songs and performances that enhanced it all.

Don't see it if You don’t want your Shakespeare relevant and accessible, as it was meant to be! Also Danielle brooks was a wonder!

Riveting, Refreshing, Must see, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like Shakespeare without the affectation. You like new/modern settings for Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You only like Shakespeare done in stodgy accents.

Also I am an unapologetic lover of all things Shakespeare and this was an a... Read more Read less

Romantic, Resonant, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever

See it if you love Shakespeare, Shakespeare in the Park & NYC - this is a great production with a modern twist that delights and feels relevant to all

Don't see it if lots of characters are too hard for you to keep track of. It's long -- 2.5 hours.

Fluffy, Slow, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you love great performances al fresco.

Don't see it if you aren't a Shakespeare fan in general. Despite the modern setting, this one feels very traditional in execution.

Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a different presentation of shakespeare. normally don't like shakespeare but this I got into

Don't see it if you enjoy typical presentation of this type of play

Refreshing, Great staging, Funny, Enchanting, Clever

See it if this modern day version of Shakespeare shows that The Bard's work never goes out of date. Wonderful cast puts women in charge.

Don't see it if you don't like intelligent comedy wonderfully presented in a glorious setting.

Characters poorly defined, Poorly directed, Tyler perry shakepeare, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if Shakepeare set in present day Atlanta with upper-class black people with "street" energy. "Stacy Abrams 2020" poster looms unexplained.

Don't see it if You want to see a seriously conceived Shakespearean production and are not interested in a Showtime at the Apollo or flash over substance.

Delightful, Clever, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if One of the best productions of Shakespeare in the park

Don't see it if You only like classic Shakespeare

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if Exuberant, near-perfect staging that brings out the text's magic, all while feeling like a John Legend concert.

Don't see it if I could quibble with the ending or some actors' chemistry, but it wouldn't diminish this excellent production hitting all the right notes.

Joyful, Uneven, Entertaining

See it if you've never seen Much Ado before or can't get enough of it. This adaptation is fun and original in a lot of ways. B&B are great to watch.

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by a production that doesn't succeed in every sense. Some characters/scenes are stronger than others.

Also The frame for this production generally works. The all-black cast and ... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you like Shakespeare's comedies and enjoy a fresh interpretation with an excellent cast.

Don't see it if you do not want to laugh!

June 11th, 2019
“This delicious, admirably clear production, directed by Leon, acknowledges and builds on as it gently but firmly escorts the great comedy into a #MeToo, Black Lives Matter world...The actors play specifically black characters, drawing on their own resources of emotion and style to make those cha...
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June 11th, 2019
"Shakespeare in the Park's modernized new production of 'Much Ado' is powered by strong women of color...Leon's lucid production starts out frolicsome and funny; Brooks luxuriates in the humor, turning even the pronunciation of Benedick’s name into a punch line. But the show turns wistful after H...
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June 11th, 2019
"Leon’s intermittently enjoyable production...doesn’t exactly tackle the play’s extant issues. Instead, it plays them straight and mostly breezy in a world that’s so fashionably contemporary that it throws the story’s fixation on spotless womanly virtue into strange relief...It’s a measure of the...
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June 11th, 2019
“Leon's take is sufficiently distinctive and sexy...The ensemble — while at times directed to play the comedy too broadly — enlivens the language with the natural humor and musicality of black speech patterns...Leon plods through the rambling yap of Shakespeare's first two acts without much momen...
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