Arts and Entertainment

Shakespeare in the Park draws a crowd at first show

Blankets of all colors, shapes and sizes, beach chairs and picnic baskets covered the lawn at the Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater last theater during the Wooden O Seattle Shakespeare Company’s free production of “Much Ado About Nothing.”

More than 200 people showed up for the company’s first Shakespeare in the Park production of the summer despite Thursday’s mercury-popping, 90-plus degree temperature. The cast’s talent and enthusiasm provided a solid platform for the famous playwright’s timeless humor and wit at the outdoor amphitheater.

The play is set at the home of Leonato, where he welcomes his close friend, Don Pedro, and two fellow soldiers, Claudio and Benedick.

The burning frustration-turned passion between Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio’s shocking accusation against Hero — at the altar — mirrored Thursday’s mid-day high temperature. As the weather cooled, so did the tension, as both couples wed.

The Wooden O will host four more showings of “Much Ado About Nothing” at the amphitheater this weekend.

The company will switch to “Othello” for the July 18, 22-24 and 29-31 shows, also at 7 p.m., with an additional performance at 2 p.m., July 18.

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