It was much ado about nothing, according to the boy. But of course, he would say that. He's the one who threw the penny, which may or may not have struck his sister in the eye.
At 14, the girl is a stage veteran who does not pass up an opportunity for ado, which included a tempest of tears and an impressive selection of 21st century oaths. In lieu of an apology, the boy offered his opinion that 1. The penny had struck nowhere near her eye. 2. He hadn't meant to hit her, and 3. it was all just theater anyway.
If Beatrice and Benedick could set aside their squabbling in the face of so much turmoil, surely we could get to the end of one Shakespearean comedy without another scene.
But you don't have to be a theater major to know what comes next. Because it's not truly Shakespearean until a second pair of combatants is drawn into the fray.
And so it went. My position was that 1. It was irrelevant where she was struck. 2. The boy's aim had produced four water polo goals from three times the distance an hour earlier, and 3. The girl was playing the scene for all it was worth, but that is what you get when you pick a fight with an actor.
I was for kicking the boy out of the room. He had zero interest in whether Benedick would renounce his commitment to lifelong bachelorhood or whether Keanu Reeves was going to take his shirt off again. The boy was there for no other reason than to try to foil our plans to find out. Which is why he was throwing coins in the first place. Duh.
Mr. Kamikaze was of the opinion that the girl's performance should go unrewarded even if that meant insisting that Boy, Esq. stay in the room watching a romantic farce in which he had already declared his complete lack of interest. This is what is known in parenting terms as "ruining the evening to make a point."
Also "family night."
from the Shakespearean archives: