Theater Abroad: Much Ado, with Garlic

Like many another old comedy, Much Ado About Nothing has become long of tooth, even longer in the playing, and short of run. So what to do with Much Ado?

Sir Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Tynan, who are director and literary manager of Britain's National Theater, decided it needed a thorough overhaul. To thin out the verbal thickets, they called in Poet-Classicist Robert Graves, who made over 300 changes from obscure to understandable Elizabethan. To give the plot a new lift, they unleashed the talents of Director Franco Zeffirelli, whose earlier beatnik...

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