Much Ado About Nothing at Westmont’s Porter Theatre: Westmont Alumni Perform Shakespeare on Friday, October 26

Everyone has a favorite screwball comedy — for some there’s It Happened One Night, and for others the prize goes to Bringing Up Babyor The Philadelphia Story. What these Hollywood classics all have in common is their roots in Shakespeare’s incredibly influentialMuch Ado About Nothing, which received an expert production at the Westmont’s Porter Theatre this weekend under the direction of Mitchell Thomas. These films and this play rely on the organizing principle of the “merry war,” an ongoing pattern of flirtation disguised as insults and witticisms that passes between the male and the female protagonist. As in life, the expression of a contrary opinion or even a negative judgment in these comedies often simply means a willingness to engage, and Beatrice (Paige Tautz) and Benedick (Mak Manson) are the prototypical warring lovers, the precursors of modern sitcom couples with endlessly unresolved sexual tensions. more

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