1972 CBS-TV television production of The New York Shakespeare
Festival’s Broadway staging of Shakespeare’s
rollicking comedy is brassy, bouncy and all-together entertaining.
Featuring Sam Waterston and the Tony nominated performances of Kathleen
Widdoes and Barnard Hughes, Papp’s turn-of-the-century
version has Teddy Roosevelt roughriders and bicycle-riding women
suffragettes but remains faithful to the classic tale: Beatrice and
Benedick are still sparring partners fighting their merry war of words;
the evil Don Jon continues conspiring to break up the wedding of Hero
and Claudio; and it is once again up to Dogbery to save the day.
Critically acclaimed and enormously popular with audiences, Much Ado
About Nothing, originated at the open-air Delacorte Theatre in Central
Park, was transferred to Broadway and was perceived as the first
successful Shakespeare to play without a major star in Broadway
history. The CBS broadcast was seen by twenty million people.
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