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July 21, 1993 - Image 9

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1993-07-21

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Wdnesday, July 21, 1993 - The M 'thgan Daily Summer Weely -9

'I shut my eyes in order to see.'

- PaulGauguin

Midsummer's sex romp

By COLLEEN OLLE
Act I. Scene I. [Outside a movie
theater in Ann Arbor.]
Enter An assortment of Women
and Men (bent on seeing Kenneth
Branagh's "Much Ado About Noth-
ing"), Members of the Society of Cre-
ative Anachronisms (garbed in medi-
Much Ado About
othing
Directed and adapted by Kenneth
Branagh; with Kenneth Branagh, Robert
Sean Leonard, Emma Thompson and
Denzel Washington.
eval finery and armed with fife and
juggling balls to entertain the line of
eager theater patrons) and a Humble
uthor.
Woman. "Peter's Friends" did
please me so this last December, and
"Dead Again" (1991) sent shivers up
my spine. "Henry V" won much ac-
claim, so I expect no less from
Branagh's "Much Ado About Noth-
ing."
Man. Yea, 'tis true the actor-direc-
tor knows his stuff, but methinks the
world reluctant to listen to them whose
peech'sasgarbledasagrackle's.E'en
Wh day, the old Bard Shakespeare
plumbs the depthsofour souls, buthis
words lie like stagnant pools - too
murky for an audience to glean the
gold beneath.
Woman. No, no. Prick thy ears for
but 14 minutes and the words clear up!
Ah! [to a Member in a jester's suit]
Pray you juggle a ball for me!
Member. [sliding aglassorbon the
ck of his hands] I pray you, lady,
give me your name. To juggle but one
ballnoonehase'er askedme. [Theline
moves forward.]

Author. Comelet's watch the film!
Scene II. [In a dark room of the
theater.]
Enter Moviegoers and a Humble
Author.
1 Goer. Wilt thou not gaze on that
panoramaofverdantmountains,white-
gowned women and golden sunshine?
Branaghwaswisetofilmthisata14th-
century villa near Greve, Italy.
2 Goer. Through the hills thunder
the horses of the conquering heroes
home from the war. With loud shouts,
Don Pedro(princely Denzel Washing-
ton) and his men raise their fists. By
troth, had I not known this to be
Shakespeare, I'd swear wewere catch-
ing the end of a western. What think
you, friend?
Author. It brims o'er with laughter,
dancing and music, swells with sun-
shine and ripples with romance till my
headfeelslight. Ay, "Much Ado"doth
coil its fairy-tale skein around us too
oft, but the players prove their mettle
and make seeing it worth the while.
LookonBeatrice(EmmaThompson),
the mirthful woman whose barbed wit
keeps all men at bay, just as she list.
Theavowedbachelor, Benedick(Ken-
neth Branagh),counters the lady'sver-
baljabs with his own sharp tongue and
keepsusall in stitches with theirbattle
of banter. Perceptive Don Pedro, who
dothsuspecttheirironyconcealashared
affection, contrives with the family to
make Beatrice and Benedick declare
their love for each other. The romance
between Claudio (Robert Sean
Leonard) and Hero (Kate Beckinsale)
dothprovemorepoignantthanplayful,
as the virulentcount woos theinnocent
maid for marriage.
2 Goer. Why, how now? Young
Claudio doth slander his betrothed at
the altar! Could he believe Don John
(KeanuReeves),athe villainous bastard

ridden withjealousyofhishalf-brother
Don Pedro?
1 Goer. Claudio doth believe his
eyes, too, forlBorachio(Gerard Horan)
called out, "Hero!" though he did lie
with herattendant.Seeing is believing,
so they say. Leonard plays his part -
one neither plausible nor palatable to a
modern audience - quite credibly
when werecallthe Renaissance's con-
demnation of women who seemed
wanton.
Author.Yea, Leonard's vacillation
between ardor and anger sits more
readily with me than Don John's mel-
ancholy. Marry, Reeve's evil charac-
ter must cast a pall where'er he walk,
buthisgloomhathnodepth.Heputsno
substance in his dour act but sulks and
skulks through this comedy like a
worm-ridden hound. I would he'd
stayed in San Dimas.
2 Goer. Ha Ha! Here come
Dogberry (Michael Keaton) and his
sidekick, Verges (Ben Elton), ready to
expose the plot to Leonato (Richard
Briers). Mark their Holy-Grail ap-
proach-gallopingoninvisiblehorses.
Keaton's quite the comic. He mangles
English with averboseearnestness that
makes my eyes tear. Dost thou catch
the turns of his rapid speech?
1 Goer. Ay, though it take a
'vigitant' ear!
Author.Praythee,watchthytongue.
Methinks "Much Ado"dostmake thee
prattleintoooddamanner.With asun-
drenched setting and a star-studded
cast, "Much Ado"doth woous with an
"Eat, drink and be merry" simplicity.
Branagh lists to set us under a
Shakespeareanplanetand,by my troth,
there's much to learn and love in his
theatricalfilms. Soget thee toatheater
- and that is my conclusion.
MUCH ADOABOUT NOTHING is
playing at the Ann Arbor 1 & 2.

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Whitbread Ale
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Great Burgers
English Cheeses
BBO Ribs
Hearty Salads

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20 Good Reasons Why
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When It Comes To Beer-
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Foster's
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Full Menu
Open Late
Live Jazz
Every Tuesday

IAOESecond Stage Productions
BLU ES
f1 by Neil Simon
directed by Tim Morley
July 8-24, 1993
Thurs. thru Sat. at 8:00 p.m
Tickets are $7.00 Thursdays 2-for-S
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, 2275 Platt Rd.
Tickets & reservations, catt 971-AACT

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Dinner and Carry-Out Menu
OFFER EXPIRESJULY31,1993
Reservations 971-0970
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Sat. Noon-11, Sun. Noon-10
Free Parking!

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