Publisher: Elizabeth Hurd

“Much Ado About Drinking” a Hilarious Adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”

Kate Adams as Beatrice and Kenneth Chambers as Benedick in “Much Ado About Drinking” by 3rd Act. Photo courtesy of Dakota Bryant, 3rd Act Theatre

3rd Act Theatre has a fun, hysterically funny, and excellent fundraising evening for patrons.  In selected venues they have improvisational shows based on a classic.  Currently performing “Much Ado About Drinking’ the shows are based on a classic.  Obviously ‘Much Ado About Drinking”’ is from “Much Ado About Nothing” a Shakespearean classic.  The actors take various roles but instead of performing with typical Shakespearean delivery, audience members are given the opportunity to buy options in which the character has to follow a ridiculous guideline.  For example, the instruction to perform the role in the characterization of Ariana Grande or Dolly Parton.  Or to sign up for shark bait! Where the actors are battling as sharks, or to be a cat, or some other ridiculous animal.  One actor is elected to drink an excessive amount, although this is voluntary and the actor can say when—‘I’ve had enough!’ so it isn’t dangerous.  The venues for these performances are clearly places where alcohol is served, sometimes a tavern or even a brewery.

“Much Ado About Drinking” presented at 40 West July 7, 2023 and Vanessa House July 8, 2023 continues the remaining performances at brewery venues.  On Friday, July 14, 2023 the performance will be held at Anthem Brewery, and on Saturday, July 15, 2023, Roughtail Brewing Company will host the theatrical troupe.  The final weekend, Friday, July 21, 2023 and Saturday, July 22, 2023 performances will both be held at the Angry Scotsman Brewing Co.  All performances have an 8:00 pm curtain.

Malachi Campbell as Don Pedro (left) and Stephen Butts, fishman (right) in “Much Ado About Drinking” Photo courtesy of Dakota Bryant, 3rd Act Theatre

“Much Ado About Drinking” is directed by Dakota Bryant with Dani Miller assisting.  The adaptation from classic Shakespeare’s period romantic comedy into 21st century improvisation is by Kate Adams.  The show has a cast of 8 actors in multiple roles.  The actors are Malachi Campbell, Bailey Lucien, Kate Adams, Kenneth Chambers, Maddie Loury, Stephen Butts, Thor Bautz and Chelsey Gonzales.  These 8 cast member create distinctive characters in the multiple roles and in addition to creating somewhat realistic Shakespearean performers in his romantic comedy, each actor is able to carry this off and simultaneously doing so while creating a ridiculous situation.  For example, Kate Adams is the beautiful Beatrice, a little sharp around the edges as some beauties are, but doing the role as an old and decrepit lady is hysterical.  She is now a harridan!  Or Chelsea Gonzales meowing.  Or Malachi Campbell as Don Pedro jumping from the required Irish accent to a deep southern accent.  The other suggestions include prospectors and pirates among others they will surprise as well as entertain the audience.

The cast is an excellent ensemble cast with no single cast member standing out among the others, and yet all of them stand out as they display excellent improvisational skills.  This requires the ability to think fast, on their feet and often at a dead run…especially when performing the handsome young man as a superhero!  “Much Ado About Drinking” is most definitely a night of fun, and making fun of others without doing so in a mean way.  Adams adaptation is not exactly in line with what Shakespeare wrote, but it is clear that Shakespeare would have gotten as big a kick out of Drunken Classics as the 21st century audience does!  

Maddie Loury as the comrade in “Much Ado About Drinking” Photo courtesy of Dakota Bryant, 3rd Act Theatre.

For tickets and information visit or call the box office at (405) 593-8093.  Enjoy an evening out, have a drink and watch folks make fools of themselves, without being in the least bit foolish, just being hilarious with every sip!  Participate by choosing different actors to follow very unusual and funny directions with unexpected results!  Somewhere up there Shakespeare is laughing just as hard as you are!

Cast of “Much Ado About Drinking”
Photo courtesy of Dakota Bryant, 3rd Act Theatre