In this exuberant revival of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, EXPLiCIT transports you to Italy in July, 1944. Rome has just been liberated by the Allies and, for Sicily at least, the war is over and the populace begins rebuilding their lives. This setting allows for a delightful romp in the park, as the players present a riotous, fun-filled evening punctuated by swing dancing and 1940s Big Band dance music.
We find ourselves in Leonora’s villa awaiting the marriage of her daughter Hero to the soldier Claudio. To amuse themselves, Don Pedro and his men play Cupid (to hilarious results) between Beatrice, Hero’s witty and sharp-tongued cousin and Bendedick, confirmed bachelor-for-life.
But all is not fun and games. As director Mark Kozlowski notes, “In the midst of the laughter and dancing, there is an unexpected, dark turn as plots of revenge, deception, and dishonor take hold. It is the grimness of the subplots which allows the jubilant matchmaking and infectious comedy to feel even more joyful and spontaneous.”
The cast includes Caltech students, staff, a visiting professor from USC, community members, and one of the stars of the film The PhD Movie. In this production, “Leonato” becomes “Leonora,” while Dogberry, Conrade, the Friar, the Sexton, and Balthasar are also played by women. All will be having a grand time in this ever-popular comedy that is awash in spying, matchmaking, gender politics, deception, and revenge. Grab a sweater and go!
What’s Sir John Falstaff to do? He has an unquenchable thirst for wine, a riotous sense of humor, and an appetite as massive as his ego, but now he’s run out of money. Never fear; surely the local ladies are hungry for his love, and will pay him handsomely for it! Luckily, Windsor wives are smarter than he thinks, and have a host of merry tricks up their sleeves to revenge themselves on the roguish Falstaff.
With a cast and crew of students, staff, JPLers, alumni, and local talent, the Caltech Players re-create the music, dance, and warmth of Renaissance England in the gardens of Caltech’s historic Alumni House. Incorporating madrigals, ballads, and folk dances of the period, director Todd Brun and music director Wendell Webster have turned Shakespeare’s funniest comedy into a joyous celebration of the beauty and spirit of Elizabethan England.
Join us in the historic Dabney Lounge, where we journey from aristocratic London to a factory for war machines, and meet fools, con-men, saints, and a great many sinners along the way. Most of all, we meet Major Barbara, Shaw's ground-breaking feminist creation, who leaves her wealthy world to become a leader and evangelist in the quasi-militaristic Salvation Army.
But what happens when a woman whose motto is "Blood and Fire!" meets her bomb-making father?