July 14, 2011 | Matt Cole, Director of Education

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Shakespeare's plays are "evergreens" of the dramatic arts: they always have something to say to the current time.  I was so pleased to learn that Pik*Nik Theater is going to put on a performance at the Gardens.  Their performance of Much Ado About Nothing is set in the 1940s. It makes perfect sense to think about the prince and company returning from war.  In Denver, it will be July 17, 6 p.m. at Denver Botanic Gardens. 

There are not many acting company's that prefer to work outside, but this is one.  Their actors are drawn from New Zealand--actor Felix Preval won a Chapman-Tripp Theatre Award (the NZ equivalent of a Tony Award) for Best Supporting Actor, and actors from Colorado, blending international training and local talent.  Artistic Director Stuart Handloff has New Zealand connections, and 35 years of experience directing plays.

What is the final result?  Board member Patty Martens put it this way:  "It’s the 1940s and the sailors are back home; with a touch of Federico Fellini thrown in.  That’s the picture Pik*Nik Theatre Festival paints.... Actors from New Zealand’s finest conservatories join Colorado talent to bring you an energetic and fast paced romp through a story filled with love, wit-cracking and malapropisms."

It sounds to me like this is Shakespeare without high-brow pretensions and its original slapstick preserved.  What a terrific treat to bring it to Denver.  Denver Botanic Gardens is offering it as part of admission (members free), first come, first served.  The performance will be under the tent in the grass July 17 at 6 p.m. With the weather we've been having lately, bring a blanket you can sit on.


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