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Joss Whedon’s charming recent movie adaptation likely introduced many newbies to the wit and wisdom of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” — and the élan of black-and-white cinematography.

The Bard of Avon’s attraction/repulsion romp happens to be my favorite of all his romantic comedies, and Seattle Shakespeare Company’s season-opener “Much Ado,” staged by artistic director George Mount — and starring Matt Shimkus and Jennifer Lee Taylor, shown here, as the battling/loving Benedick and Beatrice — is set (intriguingly) on the Riviera in 1953. It has, according to Seattle Shakes, “a ‘To Catch a Thief,’ Cary Grant” aura of midcentury glamour about it. And why not?

Wednesday-Nov. 17, Center House Theatre, Seattle Center (206-733-8222 or

Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic

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