Palomar presents a modern take on ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

SAN MARCOS — Palomar College’s theater director, Michael Mufson, will open his take on William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” original script intact, at 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Howard Brubeck Theatre on the San Marcos campus, 1140 W. Mission Rd.
“Shakespeare set the play in the leisurely, opulent world of aristocrats who occupy their time with masked balls and witty repartee,” Mufson said. “The play is full of dancing, song and wisecracking wit. While searching for music that reminded me of aspects of the play, I came upon seven or eight songs from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. I was delighted by the prospect of using these archetypal romantic comedies as the backdrop for our production.”
According to Mufson, Shakespeare offers the commanding metaphor of the play — wooing and winning at romance — as a “merry” version of warfare, employing similar confrontations, strategies and tactics. Contrasted are two relationships: Hero and Claudio as young ingénues who fall in love and woo at a distance, and the worldly, cynical Beatrice and Benedick, who have rejected love as an occupation that is beneath them.
“It is no coincidence that the precipitating action of the play is the return of soldiers from battle, so they may turn their thoughts from war to romance,” Mufson said. “What ensues is a delightful variety of plotting, deception, misdirection, mistaken identity, spying and double dealing, all in the name of that infant archer, Cupid.”
Tickets for “Much Ado About Nothing” are $12 General, $10 Seniors/Staff and $8 students. Advance purchases can be made online at, or by calling the box office at (760) 744-1150, ext. 2453.