This production of Much Ado About Nothing (Nov. 16, 2013) far one of the worst plays I've ever seen. The stage was covered in fake flowers, which were frequently ripped up and caused the actors to trip. None of the art direction made sense, it tried to be modern but it mixed modern/traditional; flowers and then chandeliers were on the same stage. Pop music, frat references and modern clothes were all used, but it was not done well - it felt jarred and out of place. I frequently felt pulled out of the 'immersion' that you would expect in the play. There were sex dolls in serious scenes - huh? At the end the actors were slow dancing and happy pop music was playing - it didn't make any sense.
The acting was poor and it sounded like many of the actors were reading their lines or did not truly understand what they meant. I did not feel sympathy for any of the actors in the sad scenes. As someone who has read the play a couple times, I could tell they made frequent mistakes, used American phrases and words in mix with the Shakespeare. It showed with the audiene - the audience didn't give them a standing ovation or the humorous response they wanted. I've seen some OK plays at McCarter but this one makes me not want to go back.
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