HERKIMER, N.Y. – Little Falls Theater, known as LiFT, will present its final performance of “Much Ado About Nothing” at a dinner and show event Friday, Sept. 2, at Herkimer Elks Lodge 1439, 124 Mary St., Herkimer.
This comedic play, written toward the middle of Shakespeare’s career, is often considered one of his best comedies, given its blend of merriment and reflections on integrity and humiliation. This is a lively play that involves gossip, rumors and trickery that all commence in marriage celebrations complete with dance and is performed by a cast of 16 players who come from locations stretching from Utica to Albany.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes a full spaghetti dinner with meatballs, sausage, roll, salad and brownies for dessert. LiFT will take the stage at 6:45 p.m. to perform the full show of “Much Ado About Nothing.” Tickets are available at the lodge on Mary Street. There will be both on and off-street parking the night of the event.
This event came about after Herkimer Elks member Douglas Marquissee approached LiFT Director Matt Powers this summer to invite the players to perform at the lodge.
“The Elks was founded by a group of thespians from New York City,” Marquissee said. “The group would take care of a wife and children should the father pass away young in life. Although the Elks has certainly changed over the years, we still hold close to our acting forefathers. Having LiFT come and perform is a great way to reconnect to early tradition.”
Powers said the group was flattered to be asked to entertain at the Herkimer Elks and happy to oblige. “The final performance at Herkimer Elks takes us to yet another new stage this summer.” LiFT has also performed in the Utica Zoo Amphitheater. “Six performances on five different stages has been our biggest feat yet and our troupe has risen to each occasion,” he said.
“The chance to perform in different venues has provided an opportunity to present the show in different ways,” said Christina Carroll, a lead actress in “Much Ado” who has been involved with the troupe since its inaugural Shakespeare performances in 2013. “Each show has had a different feel, a different audience and a new interpretation, if you will.”
“The mobile grassroots effort taken by LiFT to bring live Shakespeare to several stages throughout the Mohawk Valley is a tremendous value-add to these communities,” said LiFT player Laura Powers. “The goal is to make this type of live theater as accessible as possible to the public.” She added, “Adapting nearly two hours of live, fully off-script Shakespeare to five entirely unique performance spaces has certainly been challenging, but it’s been a great experience. We’re excited for our final show on a new stage.”