For this wonderful, elegant version of Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy, Joss Whedon assembled a great ensemble, drawn from his pool of usual actors. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisoff are perfect as dueling couple Beatrice & Benedick; they nail both the witty banter and the dramatic moments. Fran Kranz, so brilliant in Cabin in the Woods, gets Claudio, the hardest part and he manages to pull it off perfectly – he’s as good a Claudio as I’ve ever seen. Scratch that, he’s by far the best. Clark Gregg is wonderful as Leonato and Reed Diamond is a pitch perfect, warm and paternal Don Pedro. Sean Maher is a fantastic Don John; he plays John as a seriously creepy, depressed sadist. Nathan Fillion is predictably brilliant as the pompous Dogberry and Tom Lenk is fantastically funny as his partner, Verges. And then there’s Riki Lindhome, a wonderful comedienne, as a petulant, female version of Conrade. Shakespeare is dependent on actors; if an actor isn’t up to the challenge of Shakespeare’s wonderful lines, the whole thing goes down in flames. Luckily, Whedon has found a batch of folks that are up to the challenge.
Next time? A dark thriller with a cast . . . to DIE for! AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Um, sorry.