Faith American Beer & Kelsey Grammer present


Directed by Thomas G. Waites

June 7th-30th at The Gene Frankel Theatre in NoHo

Hot Italian lovers, quick witted rivals, masquerade balls, and unruly gossip set the stage for Thomas G. Waites reimagined tale of William Shakespeare’s classic romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Set in 1940’s Italy, the production runs June 7 – 30 at The Gene Frankel Theatre in NoHo. Opening is slated for Sunday, June 9 at 3pm. Much Ado About Nothing features actors from Waite’s TGW studio and is presented by Faith American Beer and Kelsey Grammer.

Waites, who in addition to acting and directing also teaches, saw opportunities for his students to hone their craft onstage dwindle after Covid. In an attempt to get their work seen by a wider audience and to help give them the experience of working in front of an audience, Waites was inspired to produce the play. “To teach is to learn and what better teacher than William Shakespeare to lead us. I am honored and simultaneously terrified with excitement about the production of Much Ado About Nothing which features my students.”

Waites went on to share, “The business of acting has changed drastically since I started out. Now so much of the business is done in isolation, self-tapes, zoom readings. I wanted to give my students a chance to work in front of a live audience and experience the connection that takes place between one and another.”

To help spread the word, Waites reached out to his longtime friend and former Juilliard roommate, Kelsey Grammer who jumped at the opportunity to help the young actors. “I couldn’t be happier to help these young people gain more experience on stage. Tackling the classics, under the direction of my friend Thomas, is a great opportunity that will hopefully help further their careers. I have no doubt that this production of Much Ado About Nothing will be a special and unique production!”


Shakespeare’s tragic comedy Much Ado About Nothing is a Merry War. The courtship of Hero and Claudio, mostly in verse, contrasting with the witty sparring of Benedick and Beatrice, mainly in prose, creates the dramatic action of the story. Hero’s honor tainted by rumor rescued by truth is the plot, the story is more about playful flirting, sexual innuendo, and funny comic relief characters. It could be called The Law against Lovers. Ending in a double wedding what could be more fun than laughing at our soul’s desire for love and affection.

Set in 1940’s Italy, one is reminded of the hot Italian lover and his pension for the promiscuous. Much Ado About Nothing is a feel-good comedy about honor, love, sex and just plain fun!

Several roles will be shared between a rotating cast of actors including Aislinn Evans and Kaitlyn Mitchell as Beatrice, Artur Ignatenko and Jake Minevich as Benedick and Jordan Elizabeth Gelber and Stephanie Londoño as Hero. In addition, the cast features Dillon John Collins (Claudio), Jacque Coqueran (Don Pedro), Gilbert Cole (Leonato), Surge (Don John), Breanna Neomi (Margaret), Matt Ugly Mc Glade (Borachio), Arnie Mazur (Dogberry), John Galligan (Verges), Luis Guillen (Antonio), Bettina Schwabe (Ursula), Brandon Thomas Lima (Conrade), David Manganiello (Sexton), and Cedric Allen Hills (Balthazar).

The production features original music and score by Cedric Allen Hills, scenic design is by award winning designer Elle Kunnos de Voss. Stage management by Thomas Bradvica.

Performances run June 7 – 30 with performances Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. Running time: 2 hours with a 10-minute intermission. Tickets are $25 (seniors), $35 general admission and are available at The Gene Frankel Theatre is located at 24 Bond Street (Between Lafayette & Bowery), New York, NY 10012. Subways: 6 to Bleecker Street, B/D/F/M to Broadway/Lafayette.


Thomas G. Waites (Director) is an actor, director, and acting instructor originally from Philadelphia. He is a graduate of the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, where he studied alongside Robin Williams, Christopher Reeve, Frances Conroy, and others. Thomas founded the TGW Acting Studio in 2000, coaching countless actors including Alfred Molina, Vinnie Pastore, Vinessa Shaw, and Oliver Hudson. As an actor, he starred opposite Daryl Hannah in the film The Clan of the Cave Bear as well as in …And Justice For All, The Thing, Light of Day, and The Warriors. Waites made his Broadway debut in Teaneck Tanzi opposite Deborah Harry and Andy Kaufman. Other Broadway credits include Awake and Sing! with Frances McDormand and Harry Hamlin, King Richard III starring Al Pacino, and Howard Korder’s Search and Destroy. Off-Broadway he appeared in Clifford Odets’ Paradise Lost opposite Geraldine Page, Alan Bowne’s Forty-Deuce, and David Mamet’s American Buffalo. On TV he has been seen in “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “The Equalizer,” “Kojak,” and “Miami Vice.” Thomas has directed numerous Off and Off-Off Broadway plays including the long-running hit Six Goumbas and a Wannabe.

TGW Studios is a Company dedicated to the proposition that talent has to be exploited for both artistic endeavors and audience enjoyment. Target, a film written, and directed by Waites, was the company’s first independent film. White Man’s Guide to Rikers Island was our premiere play by Richard Roy, starring our own Dillon Collins, garnered 13 positive reviews. Much Ado is our third production with many more to come!

Kelsey Grammer, who is well known to TV audiences for his work on Cheers and Frasier has won six Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Tony award for the 2016 production of The Color Purple (producer). He was also nominated for a Tony Award in 2010 for Best Actor in a Musical for La Cage aux Folles. Grammer founded Faith American Brewing Company, LLC in 2015. Having visited the Catskills as a boy, Grammer fell in love with the area. Twenty-eight years ago, he bought the land in Delaware County that is now home to Faith American Brewing Company.

Longtime friends and former Juilliard roommates, Thomas G. Waites and Kelsey Grammer join forces to help the next generation of actors get some much-needed stage time.

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