GREAT PERFORMANCES: Much Ado About Nothing
Stream now or tune in Friday, Aug. 14, 2020 at 8:30 p.m. & Sunday, Aug. 16 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 + Aug. 16 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV
Monday, August 10, 2020
Credit: Courtesy of Joseph Sinnott
For the first time in over four decades, GREAT PERFORMANCES series presents a Public Theater production recorded live at Free Shakespeare in the Park.
After a highly successful, critically acclaimed run at the outdoor Delacorte Theater in New York City’s Central Park, “Much Ado About Nothing” joins the third annual GREAT PERFORMANCES “Broadway’s Best” lineup.
This bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece features Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) and Grantham Coleman (“Buzzer,” “The Americans”) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick.
“GREAT PERFORMANCES has a long history of providing audiences free access to the best in theater, from Broadway musicals to Shakespearean classics, and we’re delighted to partner with The Public Theater again,” said GREAT PERFORMANCES Executive Producer David Horn, who directed the play for television. “This modern reinterpretation by Kenny Leon couldn’t be more timely, showing how Shakespeare addressed issues that we are still facing as a country today.”
“The Public is theater of, by and for all people, and we are thrilled that our partnership with GREAT PERFORMANCES will bring our Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Kenny Leon’s brilliant production of 'Much Ado About Nothing' to even more audiences throughout New York City and across the country,” said Patrick Willingham, Executive Director of The Public Theater.
Set in contemporary Georgia with an election race underway, “Much Ado About Nothing” finds the community of Messina celebrating a break from an ongoing war, but not all is peaceful amid the merriment.
Former rivals battle it out, revenge is sought and trickery runs amok in this timeless comedy of romantic retribution and miscommunication.
Earning a New York Times Critic’s Pick, the play was recorded during its final weekend of Free Shakespeare in the Park performances, June 22-23, 2019.
The cast also includes Jamar Brathwaite (Ensemble), Chuck Cooper (Leonato), Javen K. Crosby (Ensemble), Denzel DeAngelo Fields (Ensemble), Jeremie Harris (Claudio), Tayler Harris (Ensemble), Erik Laray Harvey (Antonio/Verges), Kai Heath (Messenger), Daniel Croix Henderson (Balthasar), Tyrone Mitchell Henderson (Friar Francis/Sexton), Tiffany Denise Hobbs (Ursula), Lateefah Holder (Dogberry), LaWanda Hopkins (Dancer), Billy Eugene Jones (Don Pedro), Margaret Odette (Hero), Hubert Point-Du Jour (Don John), William Roberson (Ensemble), Jaime Lincoln Smith (Borachio), Jazmine Stewart (Ensemble), Khiry Walker (Conrade/Ensemble), Olivia Washington (Margaret) and Latra A. Wilson (Dancer).
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This episode is currently available to stream on demand through Sept. 11, 2020.
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A production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET in association with The Public Theater. Directed for television by David Horn. Produced by Mitch Owgang. GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.
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