It’s been at least a couple weeks since I mentioned Joss Whedon in this particular forum, so I figured today was the day to break my unintentional streak even though this particular tidbit of information is really an exercise in stating the obvious. I really want to see Joss Whedon’s low-budget adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. I mean, look at this cast. Wesley, Topher, Whiskey, Malcolm Reynolds, Simon Tam, Phil Coulson–it’s amazing, and the reviews coming out of the Toronto Film Festival where it was screened are equally so.
But who knows when the distributors will get around to Dallas. Happily, you can experience a staged reading, featuring a wonderful cast of our own theater greats, in the Winspear’s Hamon Hall tonight. Much Ado About Nothing is the first play in the AT&T PAC/Shakespeare Dallas collaboration that intends to stage the Bard’s complete works, and you can see it tonight for ten bucks in advance or pay what you can at the door. I say this every time, but it always bears repeating: staged readings, especially those that are directed and acted well, are nothing to be wary of. A couple of the staged readings I’ve attended have turned out to be some of the most fun theatrical experiences I’ve ever had.
In tonight’s case, you’re in good hands. RenÃ© Moreno, who directed what I thought was the best production in Dallas last season and was one of the season’s best (and busiest) directors overall, is the director, and even the supporting cast is full of people I’m always pleased to see on a stage: Drew Wall, Terry Vandivort, and Max Swarner, to name a few. All this to say: I recommend this highly, even though the squirrely Much Ado isn’t my favorite of Shakespeare’s play. With actors and directors who understand the language, the snappy back-and-forth between Benedick and Beatrice is a real pleasure.
Also tonight, Sandra Fluke (you know, Georgetown law student turned Rush Limbaugh punching bag turned go-to speaker on issues of contraception and female reproductive rights) takes part in a panel discussion at SMU focused on women’s health care and the media. She’s here at the behest of the SMU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program, in conjunction with the Embrey Human Rights Program and the office of the provost. It’s free, but the auditorium might fill up quickly, since we already know there’s a least one dude (a sophomore, no less) running around SMU’s campus who knows a whole heck of a lot more about birth control and being a woman than Fluke does. I expect a contentious evening, but I can’t think of anything that makes me more furious than the unapologetic, unabashed ignorance of the men who want to decide what I can and can’t do with my body. These conversations are necessary.
For more to do tonight, go here.