Greetings from New York City! Last night, my husband and I had the pleasure of getting to see Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte Theater, the famous Shakespeare in the Park venue. The whole production, set in the gorgeous outdoor theater in Central Park, was brilliantly staged and acted, but the most memorable aspect of the performance for me was the music, directed by Nathan Koci.
You can listen to the waltz theme that the orchestra plays throughout the show here:
The dizzying music perfectly harmonizes with the confusion of masking and unmasking that happens throughout this play (and throughout Shakespeare in general).
On its own, the music instilled the play with a feeling of magic. But this production went a step further. The sets were seemingly too heavy for the actors to move until the waltz theme was played or hummed, and then the sets moved on their own.
The best surprise of all was that Broadway superstar Brian Stokes Mitchell was playing the role of Don Pedro. The character doesn’t typically sing in Much Ado, so I could feel all the Broadway fanatics in the audience holding their breath when the famous “Sigh No More” number came on, in hopes that he would sing part of the song. At least I don’t think it was just me. The production did not disappoint. Not only did he sing part of the song, but he and Steel Burkhardt, the guitarist and other singers in the show, had a running competition about who could hold the note at the end of the song the longest! If you don’t want to watch Brian Stokes Mitchell’s entire interview, you can just watch him sing at around 2m 30sec.
All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better night or a better production, and I feel so fortunate for having gotten to go.