Much Ado About Nothing

Lyle Lovett joins the cast of Much Ado About Nothing beginning December 10 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The performing company of 18 actors and musicians include Chris Butler, Ramon De Ocampo, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Grace Gummer, Helen Hunt, Tom Irwin, Brian Joseph, Greta Jung, Geoffrey Lower, Anthony Manough, Dakin Matthews, Stephen Root, Jared Sakren, FrEd Sanders, David Ogden Stiers, Sara Watkins and Sean Watkins.

The full length of the engagement is only 23 performances from December 1 to 19, and is the first full-scale, indoor production presented by the Shakespeare Center. Mr. Donenberg directs, and the production features music by Mr. Lovett.

At last April's annual "Simply Shakespeare" fundraiser, Helen Hunt read the role of Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing." She loved doing it so much that she was quickly in discussions to do the role in a full production with Shakespeare Center's Founder and Executive Artistic Director Ben Donenberg, who was wanting something special to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Shakespeare Center.

Lovett came to the Shakespeare Center in the same way and appeared in two different "Simply Shakespeare" productions. "Much Ado About Nothing" will also be his first appearance in a main-stage Shakespeare Center production.

Director Ben Donenberg said, "We think that Lyle Lovett's music underscores the play exactly the same way the popular music Shakespeare selected to use way back when - and if you like a good grape stomping or know Lyle's lyric 'She's No Lady, She's My Wife,' you can get a feeling for the fun we're going to have with one of Shakespeare's most unlikely weddings."

Tickets for Much Ado About Nothing ($35 to $70, premium tickets also available) go on sale Tuesday, October 26 by phone at 213-628-2772, and online at Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Center Theatre Group box office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles) or at the Kirk Douglas Theatre box office two hours prior to performances.

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