'Much Ado About Nothing,' 'Dirty Wars' open at the Ross

Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker in "Much Ado About Nothing."
Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker in "Much Ado About Nothing."

Joss Whedon's modern take on Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and the documentary "Dirty Wars" open today at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.

"Much Ado About Nothing" is rated PG-13 and plays through Aug. 1. "Dirty Wars" is not rated and plays through July 25.

Whedon gives Shakespeare's beloved battle-of-the-sexes comedy a contemporary makeover in the adaptation starring Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof.

In the wake of an eventful trip abroad, Claudio (Fran Kranz) and Benedick (Denisof) arrive safely back in their hometown of Messina, where Claudio wastes no time declaring his love for Hero (Jillian Morgese). Alas, when clever Benedick learns that his friend has poured his heart out to the daughter of powerful governor Leonato (Clark Gregg), he chides his old friend relentlessly over the syrupy assertion while engaging Leonato's outspoken niece Beatrice (Acker) in a series of spirited debates.

Meanwhile, somewhere amid all of the pointed insults and playful barbs, something that strangely resembles true love seems to blossom between Benedick and Beatrice. Nathan Fillion, Reed Diamond and Sean Maher co-star.

The Ross will host a movie talk on "Much Ado About Nothing" at 2 p.m. July 21. The talk follows the noon screening of the film. The discussion will be led by Bob Hall, Becky Key Bosesn and Stephen Buhler.

Buhler is a professor of English at UNL and the education director for the Flatwater Shakespeare Company.

Hall is the artistic director for the Flatwater Shakespeare Company, a post he has held for 13 years. He also recently was artistic director of the Haymarket Theatre. Hall has been a director and production designer for 35 years.

Boesen directed "Much Ado About Nothing" for Flatwater Shakespeare's Summer 2013 tour of Lincoln.

Admission to the movie talk is free. Admission to the screening is at regular Ross prices.

In "Dirty Wars," investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill is pulled into an unexpected journey as he chases down the hidden truth behind America’s expanding covert wars. He delves into the dirty little secret of the War on Terror, in which all bets are off, and almost anything goes.

Scahill, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Mercenary Army," traces the rise of Joint Special Operations Command, which is the most secret fighting force in United States history. He exposes operations carried out by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress.

The documentary is directed by Richard Rowley.

For more information, go to http://www.theross.org or call 402-472-5353.