Jul 20, 2022 - Things to Do

"Much Ado About Nothing" comes to the Common

A stage under construction.
The stage for "Much Ado About Nothing" under construction on the Common last week. Photo: Mike Deehan/Axios

Boston Common will transform into Messina, Italy, on Thursday, when Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's "Much Ado About Nothing" premieres.

  • All performances start at 8pm by the Parkman Bandstand.
  • The play runs through Aug. 7.
  • Bring your own chairs and picnic goodies.

Catch up fast: In case you don't remember high school English class, "Much Ado" is one of the Bard's later comedies.

  • The two couples at the center of the story, Claudio and Hero, and Benedick and Beatrice, are the prototypes for every bantering literary couple that have appeared since 1600.
  • The villain Don John is always sublime, even when he isn't played by Keanu.

What they're saying: On the group's website, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company artistic director Steve Maler says the play "deals with larger issues involved in navigating relationships, which makes the play very relevant to contemporary audiences."

The intrigue: In director Megan Sandberg-Zakian's staging of the comedy, Benedick is played by actress Tia James, giving this year's Shakespeare on the Common a contemporary gender swap within the classic story of mistaken intentions.

You can rent a chair or reserve premium seating at the play's website.

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