Stacey Logan is looking forward to her latest star turn, as the reluctantly romantic Beatrice in William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” at the CityRep. Logan lives in Texas, and Oklahoma City is a second professional home for her.
Logan told The City Sentinel the part requires dancing, and the show includes specially-tailored music that adapts the Bard’s lyrics into Scott Joplin-style tunes. This is the first time the actress has performed a Shakespearian role: “I love Shakespeare’s strong female characters. When I first started performing I often played ditzy blonde characters, so I’m thankful for a part like this.”
Under Rene’ Moreno’s creative direction, the setting for CityRep’s rendition of “Much Ado” shifts from Renaissance Italy’s Messina to pre-statehood Guthrie, Oklahoma.Logan gets to wear fetching Victorian/Edwardian era clothing in the comedy, which contains a strong dose of drama.
Logan marvels at how she makes a living, convinced she is blessed in her work: “God, I love what I do.” In a sometimes philosophical discussion with her, Moreno and CityRep’s Donald Jordan, Logan responded to questions about the present, and future, of live theater.
Logan reflected, “It’s an amazing experience to share an experience, a particular performance, with 500 people. … I think this is the perfect show for Valentine’s. It is Shakespeare’s most romantic play.
“My experience of an audience is emotional and intense. When something is working, it feels more ‘real’ in front of a crowd, more true, even though we’re playing ‘pretend’. … In a way, for me, it’s like church, the shared experience of the most important things in the world. When the play is right, you go into a ‘zone’ and go outside yourself as you hit the peak.”
Jordan interjected, “There is no covering up in live theatre. It is open and sharing.”
Logan responded, “That’s so true. It is vulnerable, and yet it feels safe to open up in front of a crowd in a story like this. It is exposing, yet still comfortable.”
Her Broadway credits include the original Broadway casts of “Crazy For You,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Sweet Smell of Success” — as well as previous CityRep credits “Next To Normal,” “August: Osage County,” “The Normal Heart,” and “Bad Dates.”
Moreno told The City Sentinel that when he took the job to direct this show, he knew he wanted Logan for the Beatrice role.
Asked about favorite ad libs or unplanned on-state moments in her career, Logan recalled, “I remember working with a wonderful old actor when he jumped a whole song, a section of a scene. You feel as if the audience knows, but usually they don’t. So, I fed him the earlier line, the skipped lead-in, as a question; then, he was flawless.” Pressed to name a favorite part, the vivacious redhead commented, “I’m not a girl who has favorites, but my first Broadway show, that was magic.”
CityRep faithful, and those drawn into its Civic Center home for the first time, can expect some magic as this talented woman interprets one of Shakespeare’s most intriguing characters, one who disdains the idea of love, but is steadily drawn toward Benedick (played by Lane Fields).
The story the veers very close to drama, retelling of a tale already time-honored when Shakespeare set it down on paper.
Across the world, the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth in April 1564 will be marked with celebrations and special performances, with London’s Royal Shakespeare Company moving through the corpus of Shakespearian works between now and 2016.
If you can’t get to London, the Globe Theatre or other beloved performing halls across the pond, then the Freede Theatre at our downtown Civic Center is a pretty good place to land.
“Much Ado About Nothing” will perform in the Freede Little Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker in downtown Oklahoma City.
Performance Schedule: Friday, Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22, 7:30 pm., and Sunday, Feb. 23, 1:30 p.m.
Tickets are $8 for Students, Teachers and Military Personnel (with ID), $20 (groups of eight or more), $30 (afternoon matinees) and $35 (evening performances), and may be purchased by calling the Civic Center Music Hall Box Office at 405.297.2264 or 1.800.364.7111, or by calling the CityRep Ticket Hotline at 405.848.3761. Tickets may be purchased online at myticketoffice.com.
The City Sentinel is a proud season sponsor for CityRep this year, along with Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Richard P. Dulaney Foundation.
The tragedy of love, the comedy of life: Stacey Logan’s something else in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’
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