Feeling like you need a fix of the Bard? Look no further than The Newtowne Players’ production of one of William Shakespeare’s finest romantic comedies, “Much Ado About Nothing.” The Players are a local community theater organization based in Lexington Park, but they staged two weekend performances in late August amidst the sunset and stars of the State House lawn in Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC).
“Much Ado” tells the story of sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick, whose friends and family conspire to induce the two into recognizing their feelings for each other in spite of their repeated declarations of loathing. In true Shakespearean fashion, along the way there are farcical situations, nearly tragic misunderstandings, and someone faking their death.
It may not come as a surprise that HSMC would be the perfect venue for an evening of Shakespeare. The colonial atmosphere of the grounds lent itself well to the play’s witty 17th century dialogue, and all of the actors were dressed in the 17th century garb worn by re-enactors at HSMC. Actors Sharol Yeatman and DJ Lavery were by turns comically derisive and ferociously distraught as Beatrice and Benedick in some of the most authentic scenes of a bickering couple in dramatic literature.
Even though the performances at HSMC have ended, luckily the production will continue at the Three Notch Theatre, located at 21744 South Coral Drive, Lexington Park, MD, on Thursdays through Saturdays, September 6-15 at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for students, but if I were you I’d try to go on a Thursday, when general admission is $10. So get off campus for a bit of classic Shakespearean entertainment!