Opened: May 21, 2019
Book by: William Shakespeare
The Public Theater Cast: Danielle Brooks, Chuck Cooper, Erik LaRay Harvey, Grantham Coleman, Jeremie Harris, Daniel Croix Henderson, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson, Tiffany Denise Hobbs, Lateefah Holder, Billy Eugene Jones, Margaret Odette, Hubert Point-Du Jour, Jaime Lincoln Smith, Olivia Washington, Jamar Brathwaite, Javen Crosby, Denzel Fields, Tayler Harris, Kai Heath, LaWanda Hopkins, Jazmine Stewart & Latra A. Wilson
An updated version of Shakespeare’s classic comedy in a post-#MeToo and Black Lives Matter world shows how the Bard’s stories have transcended time and can adapt to new situations.
At a masquerade ball, Hero (Margaret Odette) and Claudio (Jeremie Harris) fall in love with each other and decide to marry. They scheme to get Hero’s cousin Beatrice (Danielle Brooks) and Claudio’s friend Benedick (Grantham Coleman) to also fall in love though the two are sparring partners. Both relationships follow rocky paths throughout the play.
It’s interesting to see this modern adaptation with an all-black cast set in 2020 while still keeping the Shakespearean text.
Brooks and Odette are incredibly strong and show female power in different ways. When Brooks performs Beatrice’s monologue, “If I were a man,” she brings down the house.
Final say: This Nothing is something. ★★★★☆