Joseph Papp’s 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. Music by Peter Link, Book by William Shakespeare.
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’s 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.
Directed by A.J. Antoon Nick Havinga. Staring: Sam Waterston Kathleen Widdoes Barnard Hughes April Shawnham Douglass Watson Glenn Walker, Mark Hammer, Army Freeman, Bette Henritz, Jeanne Hepple, Jerry Mayer, Jack Gianino, Marshall Efron, Will Mackenzie, Tom McDermott, Charles Bartlett, George Gugleotti, and David Lenthall.
Originally aired: 1974
“… captivates the imagination, captures the heart, and fills the night with laughter.” – The Christian Science Monitor