at the Trinity Shakespeare Festival
June 2010
Set by Michael Heil
Costumes by Aaron Turner
Lighting by Tristan Decker
Music composed by Alan Shorter
Sound by David Lambert

Theater Jones chooses MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING as the best Shakespeare to hit the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex in 2010!

"In a year in which it seemed that everyone was staging the already played out MUCH ADO, Stephen Fried created the most original, warm and completely straightforward masterpiece of the season. Everything from costumes and sound to selfless, ensemble acting was top-notch and adoringly crafted. It is not often that this admittedly jaded―some might say snobby―reviewer is given chills and brought to tears of delight during a play. I practically levitated from the enchantment of this show, and I do not think that I was alone in that sentiment." - TheatreJones

Dallas / Fort Worth's Critical Rant & Rave names MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING as one of the top five productions of 2010, and Stephen Fried a "Defining Director of 2010." - Alexandra Bonifield,

"Ever see a production of a play that made you realize that every other interpretation you've seen before was wrong? Or, by comparison, not so good?

That's the instant reaction to Trinity Shakespeare Festival's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, which is realized with such elegant charm and dexterous craft that it not only eclipses every staging of this romantic comedy I've seen, but it also beats every local attempt at any of Willy Shakes' plays in the past decade.

Directed by 30-year-old New York import Stephen Fried and set in the early 19th-century Regency period, this Much Ado isn't tricked out with concept or bogged down by a director attempting to imprint an egotistical stamp. It's simply the Bard's words, strikingly performed by a strong ensemble in an exceedingly handsome production. It's amazing the power Shakespeare can have when the focus is on the basics of character, plot and text. It's almost sad that such a straightforward approach seems novel nowadays." - Mark Lowry -

"I have never experienced a more clearly delineated, more beautiful or more perfectly cast production of Much Ado About Nothing than in Trinity Shakespeare Festival’s current production. Kick back, un-furrow your brow, loosen up your smile muscles and your appreciation for rapier-sharp wit; get ready for Trinity Shakespeare Festival’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s magnificent, funny, ribald, thought provoking, artful, playful, and sober, everything a Shakespearean comedy should be and more. A glorious realization of the Bard’s wise and witty play about love and honor..." - Alexandra Bonifield - Critical Rant & Rave

"Fried deserves much of the credit: Plays don't sing like a Mozart opera unless the director is an inspired conductor." - Lawson Taitte - Dallas Morning News

"Like a coquette vying to be the belle of the ball, the Trinity Shakespeare Festival's production of Much Ado About Nothing playfully seduces its audience with its good looks and boundless charm. ... Director Stephen Fried taps into the deep vein of sweetness and wit coursing through this romantic comedy, keeping things lighter than air..." - Punch Shaw - Fort Worth Star-Telegram