Buffalo News, 6/24/10
I was disappointed by Colin Dabkowski’s review of Shakespeare in the Park’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” I find it hard to believe that he saw the same opening performance I saw. Dabkowski mistakenly labels it the 34th season, while the program clearly notes that it is the 35th. He then expresses his dislike of the music, going so far as to call for a “proper pit band.” Methinks he doth protest too much. I thought the music was well conceived and executed.

Rather than attempting to label some performances as “nuanced, engrossing interpretations” (good stuff!), and others as “credible attempts to deliver” (not quite so good!),I would emphasize the extent to which this is an ensemble production, featuring a marvelous group of Buffalo actors working together, playing off each other and creating a hugely entertaining version of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”

I would mention that these people are all multitalented, not only delivering Shakespeare’s words clearly and meaningfully, not an easy task, but singing, and dancing, and dealing with the slings and arrows and noises of our outdoor theater.

I would mention that the lighting was so good that it wouldn’t even be noticed, that the sound system worked brilliantly most of the time, that the costumes and setting were all cleverly designed and adapted to add to the intended effect of the play. I would mention the many sea gulls who flew overhead on cue, and the lone blue heron who graced the sky during intermission. I would mention the huge crowd of all ages, whose attention was held by the warm antics on stage, even after the chilly darkness began to descend. This production is no stumble. It shines. I encourage readers to see for themselves. They won’t regret it.

John Rex
Buffalo