February Shakespeare CAT: Much Ado About Nothing - Romantic Comedy

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February Shakespeare CAT: Much Ado About Nothing - Romantic Comedy

Jan 15, 2022, 2:43 pm

I've always loved Much Ado About Nothing because it's just so dang exuberant and joyous. I believe February is the perfect time to savor a good romantic comedy or two, either as a celebration of Valentine's Day or as a way to brighten the darkness of what in the Northern Hemisphere can still be a dark and dreary season.

So this month's challenge is to read Much Ado itself--I'll be doing so, and rewatching the 1993 adaptation with Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Denzel and Keanu--and/or works by other authors with a similar rom-com spirit. Some ideas include:

- Anything by Jane Austen. In my opinion, Pride and Prejudice in particular has a lot of parallels to Much Ado--Darcy and Elizabeth are definitely in the spirit of Benedick and Beatrice.

- Most of Georgette Heyer's Georgian and Regency romances, such as:
* The Grand Sophy
* Frederica
* Venetia
* Regency Buck
* Sprig Muslin
* The Corinthian

- Fans of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series could read (or re-read!) A Civil Campaign or Captain Vorpatril's Alliance for this challenge.

- And there are of course a great many romance novels that fit this challenge. A few suggestions include
* Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals series, beginning with A Princess in Theory
* Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
* Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series, beginning with The Duke and I
* Anything by Jackie Lau--you might start with Grumpy Fake Boyfriend or Donut Fall in Love
* The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
* Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
* The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Have fun, and remember to post about it here and post what you read to the wiki.

Jan 15, 2022, 2:49 pm

Thanks for starting us out! I have a lot on my shelves that will work. You have some great suggestions here.

Jan 15, 2022, 3:46 pm

Great suggestions. I'm starting with the actual play and then have lots to choose from!

Jan 15, 2022, 4:46 pm

Since it's been sitting on my shelves for a while, and it's mentioned in >1 susanna.fraser:, I will read Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Modifié : Jan 16, 2022, 12:17 pm

This will motivate me to finally read Heyer. I'm going with Black Sheep.

edited to add touchstone.

Modifié : Jan 15, 2022, 6:32 pm

Well perfect! I already have Sprig Muslin on my February reading list for a retro romance readathon!
And as soon as I saw that picture, I wanted to rewatch the movie - it is so good.

Jan 15, 2022, 7:59 pm

I plan to re-read Much Ado About Nothing. Not sure if I'll do audio or read it.

Jan 16, 2022, 9:16 pm

Just some Shakespeareish news:

Madeline Miller said she's writing a retelling of The Tempest by William Shakespeare in an interview. Madeline Miller is the author of The Song of Achilles and Circe. She was a Greek and Latin teacher and at that time wrote her debut The Song of Achilles.

If she does as well on The Tempest as she did on her other writes, it should be phenomenal

Jan 17, 2022, 12:48 am

>8 Tess_W: I saw on her Instagram that she has had to put The Tempest aside as Persephone was calling! And I am still hoping the Circe series on HBO will go ahead - like so many shows, it was stopped by Covid.

Jan 17, 2022, 4:39 am

Jan 17, 2022, 11:59 am

I decided to read Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen. Her Royal Spyness series certainly fit with romantic comedies.

Jan 23, 2022, 1:28 am

I had completely forgotten that I have had Speak Easy, Speak Love on my to read list for ages - a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in the 1920s.

Jan 23, 2022, 9:50 am

Oh this is my favorite Shakespeare comedy, and the production pictured above was perfect. May need to rewatch it.

Jan 24, 2022, 9:32 am

>12 JayneCM: Oh I hope you like Speak Easy, Speak Love! Maybe I'll reread it for this CAT!

Fév 1, 2022, 10:38 pm

I finished Much Ado About Nothing. I do not like Willie's comedies near as well as his tragedies or histories. I find them formulaic. But, glad for the re-read.

Fév 3, 2022, 11:42 pm

I just finished Much Ado About Nothing, which I adore for being such a joyous romp.

Modifié : Fév 4, 2022, 9:27 am

We did Loves Labors Lost in HS, another fun romp but with a more sober ending. The prince and princess were apparently the base for the characters of beatrice and benedict in much ado about nothing

ETA "In 2014, the Royal Shakespeare Company completed a double-feature in which Love's Labour's Lost, set on the eve of the First World War, is followed by Much Ado About Nothing (re-titled Love's Labour's Won). Dominic Cavendish of the Telegraph called it "the most blissfully entertaining and emotionally involving RSC offering I’ve seen in ages" and remarked that "Parallels between the two works – the sparring wit, the sex-war skirmishes, the shift from showy linguistic evasion to heart-felt earnestness – become persuasively apparent."

would have loved to have seen that

Fév 7, 2022, 10:07 am

I listened to a BBC Audio version of Much Ado About Nothing over the weekend. I know there are some David Tennant fans in the group, and he's in the role of Benedick in this production.

Fév 7, 2022, 10:27 am

I read the contemporary rom-com An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts by Silvia Zucca, but unfortunately I wasn't a big fan. Much Ado about Nothing is my favorite Shakespeare play, so I'm hoping I can read something else this month that's a better fit!

Fév 7, 2022, 10:49 am

>18 cbl_tn: Id love to listen to this but the link does not work

Modifié : Fév 7, 2022, 10:52 am

Elswhere we are chatting about differences in English and American vocabulary. Id forgotten there is also a dif in dvd players. I just found out that Love's Labour's Lost & Love's Labour's Won is available on Amazon. Unfortunately the description says its only available on British players. Any chance I can view it in US?


Fév 7, 2022, 4:02 pm

>20 cindydavid4: I believe she listened to it through her library's OverDrive/Libby collection.

Fév 7, 2022, 6:43 pm

>21 cindydavid4: It depends on your player. Some players will only play DVDs from one region, others are set internationally to play DVDs from anywhere. Beware of players which allow you to change the region setting manually rather than the player doing it automatically because they will only allow you to do so once or maybe twice and then you may be stuck with a region whose DVDs are difficult to get hold of where you are.

Fév 8, 2022, 4:24 pm

I read the simple ol' Much Ado About Nothing. Quite a bit more fun than I was expecting!

Fév 11, 2022, 6:02 pm

I listened to the BBC full-cast production, Much Ado About Nothing William Shakespeare, David Tennatt.

Fév 12, 2022, 10:21 pm

I read (Trust) Falling For You, a goofy but fun romance novella about rival faculty members forced to bond at a departmental team building retreat.

Fév 13, 2022, 12:51 am

I read Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston for this challenge. Rom was OK, com was lacking.

Fév 15, 2022, 8:53 pm

Fév 15, 2022, 9:23 pm

Last year I did a theme for RT about Shakespeares children; Here is the link, plenty of choices there!

Fév 18, 2022, 3:37 am

I have re-read Black Sheep. Marvellous.

Fév 18, 2022, 10:55 am

I read Much Ado About Nothing and then watched a production of it - fun!

Modifié : Fév 21, 2022, 11:24 am

I finished In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk over the weekend. It's more chick lit than romance, but there is a love story, and I found it pretty funny, so I'm counting it! :)

Fév 23, 2022, 1:58 pm

I got through about thirty pages of Black Sheep before declaring it my first DNF of the year. I tried to get into it several times and it just didn't hold my interest enough.

Fév 25, 2022, 12:22 am

I just read All the Feels, which was a wholly delightful distraction from the current state of the world.

Fév 26, 2022, 9:59 pm

COMPLETED Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto, a hilarious mix of rom-com and crime caper

Fév 28, 2022, 10:24 am

Not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I did manage to finish Much Ado About Nothing.

Mar 2, 2022, 9:34 pm

I finished Georgette Heyer's The Corinthian for this challenge. It was definitely a fun romantic comedy. I'd wanted to reread Much Ado About Nothing as well but couldn't fit it in. I did start it and will try to finish it later on.