Shakespeare Orange County Presents a 1920s Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare Orange County will present Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing August 16 – September 1 at Garden Grove’s Festival Amphitheatre, outside and “Under the Stars.” Set during the 1920s, this production features costumes and music of the era. Founding Artistic Producing Director Thomas F. Bradac directs.

SOC’s production focuses on the relationships between men and women of various generations and how they deal with one another (all generations included). As the older and wiser Benedick, and the smart and attractive Beatrice, duel in their determination to proclaim mutual bachelorhood, they fail to realize that they’ve been set up by manipulative friends and acquaintances in a plot that later brings them together–in matrimony.  

In contrast, the younger couple, Claudio and Hero, who are head over heels in love, are thrown into circumstances by individuals determined to undermine their relationship. Veteran Shakespeare lovers and as well as first timers will cheer as this classic battle of the sexes comes to life with capers, carrying-on, and scheming that results in a travesty of prevailing true love.

Unlike earlier Shakespearean plays, the comedy in Much Ado doesn’t come out of ridiculous situations–it arises from the characters themselves and the realities of their intertwining relationships. Director Thomas F. Bradac says, “Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, and we’ve cast the production with two seasoned vets, Michael Nehring and Evelyn Carol Case, in the principal roles of Beatrice and Benedick.” He adds, “The play is about GOSSIP and the effects that it has – positively and negatively – on those around us…lives are altered, relationships dissolve and reform….and it’s full of love, romance and the bungled language of Dogberry. Before there was Mrs. Malaprop- Shakespeare’s Dogberry was the original language mangler.”

Prior to each performance, SOC guests can enjoy the company’s Elizabethan style pre-show at 7:30 pm while relaxing over a picnic basket of their favorite foods with friends and family. A picnic area is open on the Village Green, just adjacent to the amphitheatre. Light concessions will be available for purchase, and plenty of free parking is available.

Tickets are available at, by phone, or in person at the Festival Amphitheatre box office from 3:00 – 6:00 pm. The Festival Amphitheater is located in Euclid Park, 12762 Main St., Garden Grove, CA. 92840. Performances for all SOC productions begin at 8:15 p.m. Free pre-performance discussions with Dr. Kent Lehnhoff will be conducted on August 25 and September 1 at 7:00 pm. For more information, call the box office at (714)-590-1575.


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