Carte Blanche Studio Theatre, 1024 S. 5th St. in Milwaukee, is proud to announce upcoming performances of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, from February 19 to March 7, 2010. 

Much Ado is Shakespeare’s most frequently produced comedy, as the verbal sparring between iconoclastic barbed-tongued heroine Beatrice and self-declared irascible bachelor Benedick provide some of the most intriguing wordplay of all of the Bard’s works. Benedick and Beatrice’s resisted love affair is counterpoint to the hasty contrived engagement betwixt the pure sweet Hero and the heroic, yet impressionable Claudio. The lighthearted comedy twists and turns through many Shakespearean plot conventions, including villainous scheming to thwart the young lovers, to reach the inevitable happy ending. The experience is a roller coaster ride of many misapprehensions and machinations that each lover suffers to reach that final conclusion. Penned later in his career, Much Ado About Nothing showcases Shakespeare’s mastery of characterization through specific idiosyncrasies of speech, with each character expressing their wit (or lack thereof) uniquely. 

This sparkling romantic comedy, Carte Blanche’s second Shakespearean production, will be costumed sumptuously and traditionally Elizabethan by the outrageously talented and innovative seamstress Kate Vannoy. To make room for all the farthingales, elaborate coifs, and swords, the set will remain elegant and minimal to best showcase the actors’ poise in the intimate studio space. Originality in all disciplines of performance is Carte Blanche’s specialty, and Much Ado will feature live music by actors Josh B. Bryan and Mara McGhee. Set design is by longtime CBST builder Ray Vannoy; 16th century-style dances are by company choreographer Samantha Paige. Direction is by Jimmy Dragolovich (who will join his actors in a rare special appearance on stage as arch villain Don John), and original hand-sculpted masks are by resident artist Peter Smith. Light design and execution are by Josh B. Bryan. The core of the actors performing in this show are veteran CBST repertory members, who have built a scintillating rapport with one another on stage. Their talent is collectively excellent in a way that only performers who are comfortable and confident with each others’ gifts and energies can be excellent- a true ensemble company. Come allow them to wooingly whirl you into delight as you observe the consequences of paying too much attention to ‘nothing’. 

Show dates for Much Ado About Nothing are Friday, February 19 to Sunday, March 7. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturday, with Sunday matinees beginning at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 each, and can be purchased by visiting Carte Blanche Studio Theatre’s website at, or by calling the box office at (262) 716-4689. Limited seating available, please reserve your tickets soon! 

As always, we greatly appreciate your support to our theater see you soon! 

Thank you!