Much Ado About Nothing

Joel Libed

What is your official title/occupation? I’m currently a barista (by day) at Starbucks, but I’m also an actor who is pursuing musical theater in New York City.

Where and with whom did you see the movie? I saw the movie at Kahala Consolidated Theater with my New York roommate, Kayla Kashimoto. She is a dancer. We moved to New York together.


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Much Ado About Nothing

Overall, what did you think? I appreciated the idea of having a modern look to Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. I feel like the director was trying to relate the story to a broader audience while retaining the true integrity of the story. Especially in my career path, look is everything, and the modern look gave the movie more appeal. I did like the movie. My only obstacle was really understanding every line. Since the last time I studied Shakespeare was in high school, I could tell my ear wasn’t as sharply in tune with “Shakespearean language,” and at times I could tell I was trying to interpret the last line they said while I was listening to the next line. It got tiring.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes? One of my favorite scenes in the movie was Benedick (Alexis Denisof) eavesdroping on Claudio (Fran Kranz) and his friends as they talked about Beatrice’s (Amy Acker) love for him. I felt the humor and staging of the scene was on point, and it was a highlight of the movie.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film? ★★★

What did you think of the cinematography? I personally did not like that it was shot in black and white. I feel like sometimes moments weren’t as beautiful because it had a dull look. Toward the end, scenes seemed to mesh together. I feel that had a lot to do with the black-and-white footage.

Was the message/theme clear? Shakespeare is tough literature to understand in general. But I feel like most people will understand the message of the movie.

To whom would you recommend this movie? I’d recommend it to an older audience. I feel like they would appreciate the wit and humor that some younger folk may not understand.

Did any of the actors stand out? The actress who played Beatrice. That character is a witty woman with a sharp tongue, and I feel like the actress Amy Acker delivered.

Did you identify with any of the characters? Claudio. Without giving the story away, I, for one, have been too quick to judge. There have been times in my life where I’ve jumped to conclusions and it resulted in unfortunate events. Judging things too quickly is a poor way to live your life, and I’m glad that is in my past.

Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD? Yes. I would love to re-watch it in the privacy of my own home, without distracting audience members of the theater.

What’s your favorite movie snack? Popcorn and peanut M&Ms mixed together! Yum!

On a different note, what’s new with you? I’m currently visiting home after one year of being gone. As I mentioned before, I moved to New York to pursue a musical theater career. I was recently in the national tour of The Wizard of Oz playing the Tin Man. We went to 20 states, 58 cities and did more than 70 shows, all in three months! It was an amazing experience. I currently have been cast as Emmett Forrest in Diamond Head Theatre’s production of Legally Blonde The Musical (directed By Andrew Sakaguchi), on stage July 19-Aug. 4 here in Hawaii! It’s great to be performing here again! Tickets are selling fast, so go to or call the box office at 733-0274. You don’t want to miss this amazing cast!