Synetic Theater in Crystal City is staging the Shakespeare comedy, "Much Ado About Nothing," set in the 1950s Las Vegas, from Feb. 11 through March 22.
Directed and produced by Synetic Founding Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili, the show features confirmed bachelor Benedick and the equally spirited and unwed Beatrice as they spar, court and conspire in Synetic's 11th wordless Shakespeare adaptation. This show is loaded with rockin’ tunes, rat packers, and dreamy chicks who will shake, rattle, and roll as only Synetic performers can.
Tsikurishvili said he was fascinated by the challenge of producing the play.
“This is probably Shakespeare's most verbally driven play, in that the soul of the thing isn't so much about symbolism and imagery, but about wit and banter,” he said. “I was fascinated by the challenge of translating this specific kind of text into movement and visuals.”
One of the reasons Tsikurishvili set the piece in the 1950s is because he sees a lot of relevancy and parallels between that time and our own.
“Then, as now, we have Cold War tensions brewing with an old rival, which the humor, youth and exuberance of the period (as well as the music) acted as a kind of counterweight to,” he said. "For me, this play is pure light-hearted comedy — a perfect relief from the similarly troubled times we find ourselves in today.”
One of the challenges for Tsikurishvili was finding the characters' equivalents and archetypes in the 1950s setting they've chosen.
“Who, for instance, is Benedick in this setting?” he said. “Who is Beatrice? What are their identities? Making these decisions are always among the greatest challenges.”
Tsikurishvili hopes to remind people of the joy, happiness and love to be found in life — “even when it's problematic, even when it isn't neat and tidy, even when the world around you seems to be in complete chaos, threatening to blow itself up,” he said.
Synetic Theater is staging "Much Ado About Nothing" from Feb. 11 through March 22, Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Synetic Theater is located at 1800 South Bell St., Crystal City, Arlington. This production is recommended for ages 14 and older for some drug use and stylized sexual content. $20-$55. Call 866-811-4111 or visit www.synetictheater.org. The matinee on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2 p.m. offers childcare, featuring theater games, at an on-site studio for $5 per child beginning at noon. A $25 Young Professionals Night will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 18 with a pre-show happy hour at Jaleo Crystal City beginning at 6:30 p.m.