There Is Much Ado About Much Ado About Nothing

The latest in a long line of Shakespearean adaptations is the Joss Whedon directed “Much Ado About Nothing“.

For the uninitiated, Much Ado About Nothing is about two couples on different paths to martial happiness.

Benedick (Alexis Denisof) and Beatrice (Amy Acker) dated previously, but the relationship turned sour. It is love at first sight for Hero (Jillian Morgese) and Claudio (Fran Kranz).

Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) and Leonato, Hero’s father (Clark Gregg) happily endorse the marriage between Hero and Claudio while secretly setting up Beatrice and Benedick. But Don Pedro’s brother, Don John (Sean Maher) sees an opportunity to cause trouble for his brother and Claudio.

This movie is one of the best movies I have seen so far this year.

If I was not a fan of Joss Whedon, as well as being a Buffy/Angel and a Shakespeare fan, this movie would still be one of the best I have seen so far this year.

Acker and Denisof still have the same chemistry they had on Angel ten years ago, Morgese and Kranz are well matched as the young lovers torn apart by Don John’s lies.

The biggest kudos has to go to Nathan Fillion as Dogberrry, the bumbling police chief. His scenes are some of the funniest in the movie.

This movie should absolutely be purchased when it comes out on DVD.

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Not So Assembled- The Assembled Parties Review

Earlier this year, noted playright Richard Greenberg introduced audiences to his new play “The Assembled Parties“.

The play takes place in a 14 room apartment on Central Park West belonging on the Bascovs, a secular Jewish family. Julie (Jessica Hecht) is married to Ben (Jonathan Walker). They have two sons, 20 something Scott (Jake Silberman) and preschooler Timmmy (Jake Silbermann as the adult Timmy and Alex Dreier as the young Timmy).

Its Christmas Day, invited for dinner is Scott’s friend, Jeff (Jeremy Shamos), Ben’s sister Faye (Judith Light), her husband Mort (Mark Blum) and their daughter Shelley (Lauren Blumenfeld). The first act is set in 1980, the second act is set in 2000.

Vying for the best and funniest lines are Hecht and Light. In the second act, Shamos is the steady head in between these two women.

The cast is very good and very funny. I cannot say the same for the play.

The plot is thin, the departure of several characters within the second act is barely explained. By the end of the play I found myself asking questions that were unanswered by the final curtain call.

Not one of the better plays I have seen.

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