Ryan Parker Knox as Benedick and Holly Griffith as Beatrice star in the Shakespeare comedy “Much Ado About Nothing.”

It’s time to lighten up.

Or so says the Rogue Theatre with its production of Shakespeare’s comedy “Much Ado About Nothing,” which previews Jan. 10 and 11 and opens Jan. 12.

And what a delicious way to lighten up.

The plot involves love, witty banter, deception and salvation.

Who’s who
  • Beatrice: The niece of Leonato, Messina’s governor, has a sweet side. And an acid tongue. She uses it often on Benedick.
  • Benedick: A gentleman and a brave soldier who has been fighting in wars under his friend Don Pedro. He and Beatrice battle with wit.
  • Claudio: The war hero loves Hero. Ah, but he is a suspicious fellow and is quick to exact revenge.
  • Hero: The daughter of the governor, she is beautiful, kind and in love with Claudio.
  • Don Pedro: The nobleman and soldier has a good heart but too often believes what he hears about others.
  • Leonato: An elderly nobleman and governor of Messina.
  • Don John: Don Pedro’s illegitimate brother, he’s a nasty guy: mean-spirited and consumed with envy.
The story

Don Pedro, Benedick and Claudio return to Messina after a successful battle. Claudio’s feelings for Hero flame up, and her’s for him. A wedding is planned.

Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice have it out for each other. Clever insults fly between them — insults which hide their true feelings.

Sensing those feelings, Don Pedro and his pals arrange to have Benedick overhear a conversation about Beatrice’s love for him. And Hero and her maid discuss how mad Benedick is for Beatrice. Of course, the conversation is in earshot of Beatrice. The two to give in to their love.

Meanwhile, the bitter Don John wants to make his brother Don Pedro look a fool and creates a deception to stop Hero and Claudio’s wedding. He has convinced Claudio that Hero is unfaithful, and the young man denounces and humiliates her at the altar.

Uh-oh. How could this possibly end?

Contact reporter Kathleen Allen at kallen@tucson.com or 573-4128. On Twitter: @kallenStar

Reporter

Kathleen has covered the arts for the Star for 20 years. Previously, she covered business, news and features for the Tucson Citizen. A near-native of Tucson, she is continually amazed about the Old Pueblo's arts scene and feels lucky to be covering it.