Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing in Nampa, Idaho

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Community theater is an amazing thing. I absolutely love watching live theater and I also love Shakespeare, so I was definitely sold on the whole watch-Shakespeare-in-summer thing. Every in Boise there is the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. They were (and are, it’s still going) doing some great plays, but nothing that really stood out to me, and the tickets were quite expensive. So when I found this (free) performance of my favorite Shakespeare play, I leapt at the chance to go. Paul kindly consented to being dragged along.

Performed on Northwest Nazarene’s campus, this production was so much fun. It started with a little pre-show musical version of Hamlet where key plot points were set to songs from The Sound of Music. This was put on by a young group of thespians, who were all under 18.

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The main show was set in Canada around the turn of the century. Don John, the villain, became Dona Joan. She made quite a dastardly plotter, and I quite enjoyed that particular take on the play.

I also loved the way they did the plot summary in the program with the little faces. Isn’t it adorable?

If you’re in or around Nampa next summer, I would definitely advise attending Shakespeare’s Garden as they have a lot of fun with the performance and it’s wonderful to sit outside and watch Shakespeare plays as it gets dark. They sell concessions to help make money for the performance (the homemade brownies we had were great!) and they take donations. It’s a family friendly event, so if you think your kids can sit through a Shakespeare play you should bring them along.

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The first marriage scene in Much Ado. Hero is about to get spurned! Claudio is about to accuse her of not being a maid. Her dad is about to tell her he would rather she were dead than not a virgin. Hero is about to die. Beatrice is about to have Benedict challenge his best friend to a duel. Basically–it’s about to get real. But they look so happy for the moment.

Do you enjoy watching Shakespeare plays? Which is your favorite?

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