Shakespeare’s works have been abridged, made into musicals, and performed in Klingon, so it’s about time to see the Olney Theatre play it straight again, and for free, on Friday and Saturday. Or rather, as straight as you can play a double-entendre fest like Much Ado About Nothing. Even the titular ‘Nothing’ is a calembour on noting (looking) and no-thing (Elizabethan slang for female genitalia). And that’s basically what it’s all about: prying and vaginas. The renaissance romp offers all the usual Shakespearean trimmings—mistaken identities, suspected cuckoldry, and elegant witticisms. Feisty Beatrice and Benedick are tricked into confessing their love for each other, Claudio is misled to believe that his girl, Hero, has been putting it around, and even the godly Friar then gets involved in faking Hero’s death. Did nobody have any work to do?

THE PERFORMANCE STARTS AT 8 P.M. AT THE OLNEY THEATRE CENTER, 2001 OLNEY-SANDY SPRING ROAD, OLNEY, MD. FREE, RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. (301) 924-3400.

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