Double Heart (The Courtship of Beatrice and Benedick)
Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that events are still happening.
David Hansen’s 60-minute blank-verse prequel to Much Ado About Nothing imagines Beatrice and Benedick as sassy teenagers turned scared expecting parents after an intimate, Mumford & Sons–scored night together. The show’s best moments—Beatrice’s optimistic soliloquy about maternal cats, the young lovers’ sweetly careful waltz atop a bench, what may be the world’s first “Should we get an abortion?” scene in iambic pentameter—combine the painful naïveté of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant with beautiful turns of language and a touch of weirdness. But Hansen’s teaching tool of a script is heavy with tween-targeted bits—“I am but hurt,” cracks one jackanape after stabbing himself in the rear—and falls into several Shakespearean traps (unfunny fools, hard-to-pull-off swaths of narration). The production also bears the scars of months spent touring schools and nursing homes: With the exception of James Rankin's restrained Benedick, the cast oversells the comedy and underplays the drama. The play's poignancy and originality remain in a frustrating state of arrested development.—Silvija Ozols
Click here for full TONY coverage of the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival.