Home Campus 'Much Ado About Nothing' receives standing ovation on its opening night

‘Much Ado About Nothing’ receives standing ovation on its opening night

On Oct. 19, Much Ado About Nothing made its triumphant debut in the Eliza R. Snow Performing Arts Center Drama Theater.

Gasps rang through the theater as audiences became engrossed in the intricate tale woven by the combined effort of Shakespeare and the BYU-Idaho Theater Department.

“There is a lot of tension and love-hate relationships and people who try to sabotage certain things. It’s super fun,” said Andrew Sparks, a sophomore studying business management who plays Benedick, one of the lead love interests in the play.

The production is in Shakespearean language, but it is set post-World War I. According to a director’s note from Director Amelia Bahr, “One of William Shakespeare’s greatest strengths is his universality.”

The choice of era lends itself well to the costuming and set design. It also helps audiences relate more to the characters without pulling them out of the story.

John Spectre, a senior majoring in theater studies, plays Dogberry in the show. When asked how he thought the choice of era impacted the show positively, his first thought was music.

“I really love the music choice,” said Spectre. “There’s a little bit of gypsy jazz, which is the style of jazz that became really popular in France shortly after this period, with the guitar music you hear throughout the play. I think that I’ve been really impressed with the music choice especially, and only in this time period would it make sense to have that sort of music.”

As the play progresses, audiences are caught in a whirlwind of plots both well-meaning and devious. Romantic comedy gives way to gripping drama as the scenes unfold.

“I like that the end leaves people thinking,” said Elise Forbes, a senior studying political science, who plays Hero. “You have Claudio who is a very nuanced character. You have villains and heroes, but you also have characters that you love and hate at the same time. Shakespeare’s plays are so interesting, and I think because of our fabulous director Sister Bahr and Cody, our assistant director, and all of the people that have put so much work into this play, you can really see the comedy, fun and human aspect of Shakespeare’s work shine.”

A standing ovation greeted the actors as they took their bows, a thrilling end to an evening of intrigue, wit, hilarity and romance.

The show will be going until Oct. 29. Tickets can be found at the BYU-Idaho Ticket Office.

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