Love is in the air! I hope you all had a nice Valentine’s Day. And now get ready because Jen Kirchner and I are revamping two famous looove stories. Over here we’re taking Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing and giving it a Friendship Is Magic twist. Then be sure to hop over to Jen’s blog where she brings some much needed ass-whupping with Better With Predator: Fifty Shades of Predator. (I’ll include the link again at the bottom for easy referencing. )
Don Pedro and his nobleponies return from war after having quashed the melancholic uprising led by his pessimistic half-brother Don John. Among the victors are the sharp-tongued Benedick and the young Count Claudio. The gay and triumphant party comes to stay with Leonato and his family. Witty Benedick and fierce Beatrice have a longtime war of words between the two, and boyish Claudio has fallen in love with Beatrice’s cousin, Hero. When Prince Don Pedro learns of Claudio’s feelings, he insists on arranging the match.
Ever sullen and ill-tempered, Don John means to mess with these good intentions.
At a masquerade ball, Prince Don Pedro plans to woo Hero and then give her to Claudio. But his grumpy brother tells Claudio that the prince loves Hero and plans to gallop off into the sunset with her himself. The poor sap falls for it. He turns green with jealousy for all to see, but after a pouting display of barely refrained tears and a quivering lip, he deflates when Don Pedro gives him Hero as promised.
Now the prince needs to pass the time until the wedding. Ah, perfect! He’ll see to matchmaking Benedick and Beatrice! Of course, with the two ponies sworn off marriage, that will be quite the challenge.
Leonato, Claudio, and the Prince stage a loud conversation of how much Beatrice loves Benedick, how she whinnies in fits of painful love, knowing that Benedick is hiding within earshot. Hero and her gentlewoman play the same trick on Beatrice. They both fall for it hook, line, and sinker.
Disgusted with the merrymaking and not to be defeated, Don John has his dragon servant Borachio meet with Hero’s gentlepony in Hero’s chamber window where they share a triple hot fudge sundae. Don John brings Claudio and the Prince to witness this breach of the boyfriend/girlfriend code and convinces them it is Hero. Claudio, of course, is heartbroken. Hot fudge sundaes are his favorite.
Celebrating his mischief-making, Borachio brags of his act in the ears of the watchponies, who then arrest him. The next morning, Constable Dogberry goes to Leonato to have the fiendish dragon examined, but Leonato is too impatient preparing for the wedding to decipher Dogberry’s incoherent babble around his slobbering muzzle.
At the wedding, Claudio takes the bride and groom’s ceremonial ice cream cake and shoves it in Hero’s face, and then leaves her at the altar. Publicly disgraced, Hero balls her eyes out over the ruined wedding, and the ruined cake she spent all night making. The Friar plots to hide Hero and publish that upon Claudio’s vile and hurtful words, she died. (Sugar overdose may have played a part as well.)
Beatrice and Benedick linger to share a sweet moment alone where they declare their love for one another. Beatrice then asks Benedick to shave Claudio’s mane and tail and horseshoe him.
Benedick’s response: “Um, let’s be friends first!”
After more ranting from the also sugar dosed Beatrice, Benedick finally agrees to challenge Claudio. Just after the horseshoe is thrown down, the story of Don John’s deception comes to light and Claudio and the Prince are sorely grieved for their mistake. Claudio begs Leonato for forgiveness, and the old pony gives it on the condition that Claudio marry Beatrice. Claudio agrees.
When the bride is brought forth, veiled, she is revealed to be none other than Hero herself. They profess their undying love. Benedick and Beatrice discover everyone had played with their heart strings and declare they in fact don’t love each other, but Hero and Claudio produce evidence to the contrary: school notebooks with each other’s name drawn in hearts. They kiss and all are friends again. With the exception of Don John, who is caught after escaping. Benedick devises grave punishments for him, beginning with listening to “It’s A Small World” over and over in chipmunk voices. And they all go prancing into happily ever after.
Now don’t forget to hop over and read about Fifty Shades of Predator!