Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in the Park)
Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in the Park)

Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in the Park) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(112 Ratings)
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.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (112)

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211 Reviews | 87 Followers
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. Read more

97 Reviews | 15 Followers
The best shakespeare in central park ever

See it if you want just the best theatrical experience, with astonishing acting, and creativity ever.

Don't see it if the run has ended and it is no longer playing, so it is impossible to see it. Otherwise, see it. Read more

94 Reviews | 13 Followers
Must see, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if you have a pulse. Shakespeare aficionados will love it and those that consider themselves Shakespeare-illiterate will find it accessible.

Don't see it if ....there's no reason. It's the most accessible and one of the most successful Shakespeare plays I've ever seen.

311 Reviews | 46 Followers
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.

443 Reviews | 145 Followers
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. Read more

296 Reviews | 92 Followers
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!

87 Reviews | 20 Followers
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!

399 Reviews | 204 Followers
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.

Critic Reviews (29)

The New York Times
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 characters rich...Beneath the comedy, this production reflects a world in which domestic violence is more of a threat than the foreign kind...Its politics cloud neither the romance nor the comedy.”
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Time Out New York
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 Hero and Claudio's nuptials are scuttled by John’s duplicity...A somber button reminds us that the battle of the sexes and the battle for equality both are far from won."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
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 company’s big-hearted energy and of the play’s persistent delights that, despite its odd quirks and remnants, this 'Much Ado' stays afloat. Brooks and Coleman’s chemistry is largely responsible."
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The Hollywood Reporter
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 momentum, but the energy picks up...The twisty road to matrimony for Beatrice and Benedick often gets a little lost here in a busy staging that could have used a tighter focus."
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Entertainment Weekly
June 11th, 2019

“A near-perfect production of Shakespeare’s finest rom-com...While the production references our dispiriting current political climate, the mood is generally joyous, the laughs plentiful, and the focus rightly on Shakespeare’s battle of the sexes...For the most part the...text and updated milieu mesh nicely...At other moments, the plot bangs up against the setting...This ‘Ado’ offers too much joy to worry about vexing questions. For the most part, it makes a virtue of its contemporary touches.”
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June 11th, 2019

“Leon delivers the fun in a slaphappy, dance-crazy version of Shakespeare’s most likable, if thematically troubling, romantic comedy...The entire cast does exceptionally well by the Shakespearean language...Only the comic relief players, go too far, overdoing their buffoonish characters and leaning too heavily on the double entendres...Under the magical spell of theater in the park, no one could raise serious objections to the occasional license taken with the play."
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The Observer
June 11th, 2019

“Shakespeare in the Park’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ Is the Best Party This Summer...Leon and a lovable, fierce, all-African American cast...Making Shakespeare’s zesty rom-com their own, and thereby delivering it to us fresher and funnier than I can remember in ages...Leon directs the entire affair with abundant flair and a great ear for the music of the original text—as well as finding places to insert more contemporary tunes...This is how Shakespeare in the Park should be.”
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New York Theatre Guide
June 12th, 2019

"It sings. It flies. Leon and his fine cast have imbued the production with a certain style, grace and spirit...Both Brooks and Coleman bring a special understanding to the text, lifting it above the strict confines of the page and turning it into a kind of sweet music...Chuck Cooper turns the poetry into dialogue that is a marvel to the ear. Nearly everyone else follows suit....What did they do to make it so their own? Methinks it is a soupçon of theatre magic."
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